Psychiatric nurse sentenced in fraud case

July 3, 2013

 A community psychiatric nurse of 30 years who committed fraud to get thousands of pounds in payments from Bradford Council said it was because of his own mental health problems, a court was told.

John Robinson, 50, was handed a four-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court yesterday, after he admitted falsely using forms authorising one-off cash payments to service users to claim £6,280 for himself.

Dennis Schulman, prosecuting for the Council, said its fraud unit investigated 29 SS107 claims – small cash payments to help vulnerable people – made by Robinson on behalf of 19 service users last July.

The probe found he had cared for only two of the 19 people and one made a statement saying they had not made a request for a payment at that time.

The court heard Robinson, who has no previous convictions, was suspended from duties during the investigation and was later dismissed from his job.

Mr Schulman said: “When he was interviewed, he accepted the payments were false and kept the money for himself.

“He offered no reason, other than his mental health.”

Robinson, of Hall Royd, Shipley, had pleaded guilty to five counts of fraud by making a false representation during an earlier hearing, which was adjourned for a pre-sentence report.
Sean Conway, mitigating, said Robinson had shown remorse and made arrangements with the Council to pay the money back.

“His guilty plea has not only cost him his employment, but also his good name of 50 plus years. He has been a community psychiatric nurse for the best part of 30 years. He’s lost his standing within his profession and lost his professional status.

“At the time of these offences he was under the care of the mental health services, but not fully engaging.”

Magistrates also ordered Robinson to complete a medium-level activity and 200 hours of unpaid work, and to pay £800 prosecution costs.

Source: Hannah Postles, "Psychiatric nurse in £6,000 fraud gets suspended sentence," Telegraph & Argus, July 3, 2013.


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