- 21 May 2019
- 2 min read
Man steals £32,000 from NHS ‘to fund a lavish style’
Jack Barnes from Southampton has now been jailed after stealing £32,000 from the NHS.
Barnes appeared in Southampton Crown Court, where it was heard that he had drained money into his own bank account over a seven month period while working for a subcontractor, according to the Southern Daily Echo.
Barnes had been working within one of the NHS’s payroll departments in December 2017 when he started to swap the bank details of former employees for his own.
Barnes continued to do this until July 2018, gathering a whopping £32,675.69.
To avoid being caught, he transferred the money between accounts.
When he appeared in Southampton Magistrates Court last month, he pleaded guilty to the theft.
His defendant, Susan Ridge, said that the “money was to fund a lavish lifestyle” for Barnes - he only spoke to confirm his name, says the Daily Echo.
Ms Ridge also added “Barnes is a young man who was dishonest. I would say foolish but there was a degree of planning in this case. Barnes is a good character who was in work, a young man who is clearly trying to better himself.
“There is, of course, £32,000 that has got to be paid back. He tells me he has £1,000 that can be paid back immediately.”
Ms Ridge suggested to Judge Nicholas Atkinson QC that if he was willing to give Barnes a suspended prison sentence, he’d be able to pay back £300-£400/ month - meaning the sum would be paid off in 9 years time.
However, Barnes was given an 18-month prison sentence. Judge Atkinson said: “This offence, effectively a series of offences, was to deprive the NHS of money.
“It was not a victimless crime. The NHS face real pressures, not least financial ones.”
The court also ordered Barnes to pay a £140 victim surcharge.
According to the Daily Echo, Judge Atkinson ‘declined to make any orders relating to the stolen money’, but suggested that the NHS and prosecutors ‘could take action to recover the funds’.