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Former headteacher of Copland School, in Wembley, Sir Alan Davies sentenced for false accounting
A knighted 'superhead' and five ex-colleagues were cleared of a £2.7m bonus fraud against a cash-strapped council today.
However Sir Alan Davies, 65, admitted false accounting in relation to payments totalling more than £300,000 and was given a suspended jail sentence.
Davies was accused of involvement in a plot to pay out improper bonuses between April 2003 and June 2009 while he was headmaster of Copland School in Wembley.
The former headteacher, knighted for his services to education, was also alleged to have received more than £900,000 in 'inappropriate payments', Southwark Crown Court heard.
Dr Richard Evans, 55, a former deputy headteacher and former advisor to PM David Cameron, had been accused of pocketing £600,000.
Ex-chairman of governors, Dr Indravadan Patel, 73, former school bursar Columbus Udokoro, 62, HR manager Michelle McKenzie, 53, and ex-vice chairman of governors, Martin Day were also accused of being involved in the alleged fraud against Brent Council.
But all six were cleared of the conspiracy after the case collapsed.
Davies was also cleared of laundering £270,000 allegedly paid into a Spanish account in May 2008.
But his reputation is in tatters after he admitted false accounting of payments between April 2007 and June 2009.
Davies was handed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.
The retired headmaster admitted fiddling dates on payroll forms but insisted the cash had been honestly paid to and received by him.
Prosecutor John Black QC said: “On October 1 this year the crown were approached by those representing Alan Davies with an offer that he would plead guilty to six allegations of false accounting from balance funds totalling £330,000."
Mr Black said it was in the public interest to accept the pleas and to discontinue proceedings in relation to charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering.
As a result the charges against the five other defendants were dropped.
Sentencing Davies, Judge Deborah Taylor described his behaviour as "disgraceful", adding that his actions "eroded the confidence and integrity of the school and its accounting system".
She said: “These are serious offences. You may have been entitled to the money for the work you carried out at the school but you accept that when an enquiry started you dishonestly created those payroll entries retrospectively, passing them off as contemporaneous.'
“You lied and resorted to dishonest fabrication to protect yourself when the school finances came under scrutiny.
“The dishonest behaviour represents a very great fall from grace and you have lost your reputation as a result of your disgraceful conduct.”
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