A FORMER top Tory has pleaded guilty to 10 charges of theft and forgery.

Daniel Smy, 35, of Mount Skippet Way, Crossways, near Dorchester, was working as chairman of the Bournemouth-based Portman Building Society group staff association when he plundered thousands of pounds from association funds.

The former deputy chairman of South Dorset Conservative Association appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday.

He admitted five charges of theft from the association and five counts of forging cheques.

Smy is also a former chairman of Crossways Parish Council.

The prosecution claims the total amount stolen is around £58,000 but the defence believes the figure to be in the region of £30,000.

Smy’s court case was adjourned for two weeks to allow a number of ‘taken into consideration’ offences to be put to him.

The judge also ordered for a pre-sentence report to be compiled with.

Smy was released on conditional bail to live and sleep at his home in Mount Skippet Way, Crossways, near Dorchester.

After the case, Conservative councillor Peter Read condemned Smy for his ‘reprehensible’ behaviour.

He described the former district councillor as ‘an enigma who was wrapped up in a mystery.’ Coun Read, who represents the Owermoigne ward on West Dorset District Council, said: “He failed in a duty of trust. I think it’s reprehensible behaving in the way he has.

“If you can’t trust people in public office then who can you trust?”

Coun Read said he was disappointed that Smy let down the residents who elected him.

He added: “He had an obligation to the voting public. Hard-working people have had their money removed.

“A decent man would make big steps to pay the money back by some means.

“Whether it’s part of the sentence imposed by the court is up to the court to decide.

“This is a very unpleasant, unpalatable sort of crime.”