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Arrest warrant issued for ex-Rolvenden Parish Council clerk who failed to attend sentencing for £83k fraud

A judge has ordered the arrest of a former parish council clerk who has admitted a fraud involving more than £83,000.

Gary Willard was due to be sentenced – but his lawyer claimed he was too ill to attend Maidstone Crown Court.

Judge Charles Macdonald QC ruled that Willard had to produce a doctor’s letter explaining why he could not turn up to hear his sentence.

A warrant is out for the arrest of Gary Willard
A warrant is out for the arrest of Gary Willard

When that was not forthcoming, he issued a warrant without bail on the man who carried out a fraud by abuse of position at Rolvenden Parish Council, near Cranbrook.

At an earlier hearing, Willard was said to have transferred £86,404 into his account while financial officer between May 1, 2016 and November 25, 2017.

The Crown said the 52-year-old’s basis of his guilty plea was unacceptable and the case was adjourned until April when he was required to give evidence.

Maidstone Crown Court
Maidstone Crown Court

But Willard, who became the council clerk in April 2016, claimed illness prevented him from attending from earlier sentencing dates.

Now Judge Macdonald has ordered the police to attend Willard’s home in Bells Lane, Tenterden, and execute the warrant.

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