ASDA exec ‘stole £180k from charity’ to fund boyfriend’s ballet company

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An ASDA boss is facing jail – after he was found guilty of stealing £180,000 intended to help flood victims to fund his boyfriend’s ballet company.

Paul Kelly, who was a VP of corporate affairs at the supermarket, had fraudulently used money that was raised to contribute to flood relief funds.

Between July 2013 and May 2014, he redirected the money to a dance school run by his partner David Murley. Murley has previously danced with Madonna and the Royal Opera.

The exec pleaded guilty to seven charges this week, appearing before Leeds Crown Court.

Four charges relate to making false representations, to convince the ASDA Foundation that the Murley Dance Company fell within its charitable aims.

The court heard that he “purported that monies were to be used for assisting flood victims, whereas the monies were to be paid to Murley Dance Company”, and did so “dishonestly and intending to make a gain for himself or another”.

As well as his work within ASDA, Kelly was an influential figure – advising the Government on food policy, alcohol and obesity, and appearing repeatedly with then-Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

An ASDA spokesman said previously of Kelly’s dismissal: “ASDA expects the highest standards of integrity from its colleagues. Although we’re incredibly disappointed by these allegations, we are pleased that our internal controls worked”.

Kelly will be sentenced on February 16.

Comments have been disabled for legal reasons.