While Barry Daly worked as depot supervisor at Crewe station in Cheshire, he had also stolen nearly pounds 44,000 from two railway collectors, including Pete Waterman, the composer. Daly, 43, who had pleaded guilty to five counts of stealing locomotives and railway stock, and two counts of theft from prospective customers, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court to 27 months in prison, half suspended.
Like the Fat Controller in the Thomas the Tank Engine stories, Daly's role at Crewe sidings had been to take charge of shunting operations. The Recorder of Chester, Quentin Querrelle, told him yesterday that he had abused a position of trust.
Earlier this month Mr Waterman spoke of his shock at having been conned by Daly who was a trusted volunteer at his heritage centre. He recalled: "He was known as the Fat Controller. All the kids loved him. He was a regular warden at the heritage centre and very good at his job. This was quite a shock."Reuse content