College bursar jailed for fraud - Hertford Heath

06/07/2012

The former Bursar at Haileybury College stole thousands from his employers by making out cleaning work had taken place there when it hadn't. The school forked out the money to a bogus cleaning company Peter Bailey had himself set up. In total, he obtained over £165,000.

At St Albans Crown Court on Friday, 06 July 2012, Bailey, 43, of Heathcote Gardens, Church Langley, Harlow, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud by false representation.

The court heard that he began working at the boarding and day school in Hertford Heath in 2005 and remained there until 2010.

As the school's domestic bursar, he was responsible for the cleaning of the place and, over three years, submitted false invoices which purported to show cleaning had been done when it hadn't.

Invoices amounted to £147,969 and false expenses he put in came to £17,668.

An audit uncovered the extent of Bailey's frauds on the school and the court was told that by setting up an account to receive the money, there was a degree of sophistication about his crimes.

Judge Stephen Gullick, hearing the case, was told Bailey's thieving began when he was forced to give up a part time job as catering manager at Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club.

It was to supplement his lost income from that job that Bailey began the fraud on the school.

William Walsh defending said: "He expresses through me his extreme regret and remorse."

The court was told Bailey is in the process of selling his home to raise money to pay back to the school and, as a result, £41,000 is available.

Judge Gullick told him his crimes had meant he was pocketing between £900 and a thousand pounds every week "tax free."

He said: "It was a significant breach of trust."

Bailey was jailed for a total of two years.

The judge also made a confiscation order so that in the next four months Bailey's £41,000 will go back to the school.

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