District councillor cautioned for purse theft in shop

A CONSERVATIVE councillor who serves on both her district and parish councils has been cautioned for the theft of a purse, the EADT can reveal.

Carol Todd, 62, the Tory representative for Great Cornard North on Babergh District Council, said her head “was not in a good place” when she was cautioned by police earlier this year for the theft of a purse and cash.

According to Suffolk police, Mrs Todd, of Chelsworth Avenue, who is married to fellow district and parish councillor Humphrey Todd, took the purse from Martin’s Newsagent, in Poplar Road, Great Cornard, on January 30.

When contacted by the EADT, Mrs Todd, who also sits on the parish council’s policies and finance committee, said she had been under a great deal of pressure at the time of the incident.

She said: “I spotted the purse just lying there in the shop and picked it up and took it home with me. My intention was to find out who owned it and make sure it was returned to them. When I got home my husband told me I should call the police and I did that straight away to report what had happened.”

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Mrs Todd said it was never her intention to steal the purse but said it had been a “misjudgment” to take it home.

“I think I was spotted by CCTV cameras in the shop so I know how it must have looked,” she said. “I thought I was doing the right thing. I was under pressure. I’m a full-time carer for my husband and my head was not in a good place at the time.

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“I was cautioned for the offence but at the end of the day I was not convicted and did not go to court.”

She said police arrived at her house five minutes after she called them.

“They knew I hadn’t done anything wrong but they had to caution me as it was definitely on camera. They have to go through the process,” she added.

Mrs Todd hit the headlines in 2007 after she was caught on camera by undercover officers from the Department of Work and Pensions working as a crossing patrol officer and walking her dogs, despite claiming disability living allowance.

She claimed a total of �2,000 and after pleading guilty to failing to notify a change of circumstances, she was given a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay �100 costs at Sudbury Magistrates’ Court.

Following the court case Mrs Todd said she never had any intention to defraud and had no intention of resigning as a district councillor.

A spokesman from Babergh said no action would be taken over the shop incident.

He said: “Based upon the information available to us, Babergh District Council will not be taking any action regarding this particular incident as it appears not to have involved the person in her role as a councillor or purporting to be a councillor.”

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