Manchester

Ex-magistrate Edward Whelpton faked his expenses

A former magistrate has been given a suspended sentence for fiddling his expenses while he worked on an independent monitoring board in a jail.

Edward Whelpton, of Boothstown in Salford, admitted four counts of making false instrument.

The 75-year-old was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 weeks, at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court on Monday.

He was on the board at Forest Bank prison from 1999, police said.

Whelpton, who also appeared as a television extra in Coronation Street and Waterloo Road, was undertaking voluntary work for the Ministry of Justice, police said.

He was not paid for the work but was allowed to claim expenses, including a financial loss allowance due to loss of earnings.

Greater Manchester Police said the matter was passed to them in 2007.

Officers found Whelpton was claiming up to 10 times the amount other board members were, up to £600 per month, a police spokeswoman said.

He was claiming £80 per hour for working full time as an extra and freelance photographer.

But police inquiries found he only worked as an extra occasionally and never as a photographer, the spokeswoman said.

Det Con Nicola Wood, of Greater Manchester Police, said: "Whelpton's crime and dishonesty is all the worse because he was in position where his input was meant to support the administration of justice.

"Whether someone is a magistrate or volunteers in a prison, they are not themselves above the law and this result proves that.

"Greater Manchester Police does not discriminate - if there is good reason to suspect you have committed a crime, we do not care what your position in society is, we will investigate thoroughly and ensure justice is done."

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