A FORMER councillor who pocketed £155,000 worth of coins from launderette machines was jailed for three years yesterday.

Grandfather-of-five Jon Woodley-Shead, of Glebe Close in Abingdon, stole from the machines he serviced as an engineer – despite being on a near-six-figure salary.

The 52-year-old, who resigned as South Oxfordshire District Council’s Conservative councillor for Sandford and the Wittenhams in July, accumulated £1 and 20p coins using a key which he took from his employer.

His defence lawyer Allan Walker said: “He has gone from being an outstanding member of his community, respected by others, to somebody who is now seen by his doctor for depression and somebody whose family has been torn apart.”

Woodley-Shead was elected by a landslide vote last May, but held office for just two months before resigning.

He ransacked washing machines and tumble dryers at 23 locations including student halls and Army barracks, pilfering an average of £4,000 each month.

He admitted that one of the thefts – which occurred between December 2011 and July 2015 – happened while he was a councillor.

The installations and repair engineer, who earned a salary exceeding £94,000, handed friends, family and organisations “dirty money” under a charitable pretence.

Condemning the “sophisticated” scheme at Reading Crown Court, Judge Stephen John said Woodley-Shead’s charitable efforts were outweighed by the length of his well-orchestrated crimes.

He said: “You were leading a carefree lifestyle on this money, with holidays, eating out, spending in shops and online. I acknowledge some of the money was spent on charity and more laudable ways, but what these people didn’t know was that the money they were receiving, apparently from your generosity, was in fact stolen.

“When you were giving money, those that received it did not know it was dirty.”

He labelled the stream of offences “a complete betrayal of trust.”

His former employers, Berkshire-based Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems, installed a tracking device in his car after becoming suspicious.

Judge John said getting the truth out of Woodley-Shead had been like “drawing teeth”.

He acknowledged that he had shown genuine remorse by apologising in person to his employers.