Council lorry driver stole £42,000 of diesel

A council bin lorry driver has received a suspended jail sentence after admitting stealing diesel worth more than £42,000.

The theft of fuel from South Kesteven District Council (SKDC) by Leonard Frankish, 65, of Princess Drive, Grantham, was uncovered when a whistle-blower raised concerns that he was syphoning fuel from the tank and selling it on for profit.

Frankish was sentenced to eight months, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay back the cost of the fuel.

SKDC says it has now taken steps to make fuel theft much more difficult after his conviction, reports the Stamford Mercury

Employees will have restricted access to fuel based on how often they are expected to need refuelling. Any council vehicles with unusual miles-per-gallon will be flagged.

Anti-syphoning devices have been fitted to all vehicles, and additional CCTV cameras have been installed to cover fuel tanks.

Spot checks will also be carried out to make sure readings are correct and council employees have now been reminded the council has zero tolerance to fraud.

The theft is addressed in the Counter Fraud Annual Report, which will go before the council’s governance and audit committee next month (June).

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