Suffolk

MoD civil servant from Suffolk jailed over pay-off

RAF Lakenheath
Image caption RAF Lakenheath is home to a US airbase

A civil servant at RAF Lakenheath who accepted £64,000 to "grease his palm" from a firm which won a £1m a year contract at the base has been jailed.

Timothy Grogan, 50, of Woolverstone Close, Ipswich, admitted a charge of misconduct in public office and was jailed for eight months.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that the offence was committed when he was working for the Ministry of Defence.

Judge John Holt said: "It is no more and no less than greasing the palm."

The court heard that Grogan was responsible on behalf of the Ministry of Defence for supervising the administration of a contract worth £1m a year at US air base.

'Ease payment'

Grogan was paid in £1,000 cash instalments over an eight-year period from 1998 by the former managing director of Ground Control Ltd which had won a maintenance contract.

In addition Grogan received landscaping and paving work at his home in Ipswich valued at £10,000 and provided at no cost to himself by sub contractors connected to Ground Control Ltd.

Prosecutor Nick Staite said when Grogan was arrested in January last year, he claimed to have been approached by the former managing director of Ground Control Ltd and asked for assistance in preparing invoices.

But Mr Staite said that inquiries by the MoD Police found no evidence to back up that claim with staff at the company.

The former managing director of Ground Control Ltd could not be interviewed about the case because he had committed suicide, the court heard.

Mr Staite told the court police had established that Ground Control Ltd were in no way involved in making payments to Grogan and had done nothing wrong.

Mitigating, John Donnelly said that Grogan had until now lived an "exemplary" life, regularly achieving top grades in his MoD work assessments.

As a result of the case, Grogan feared he would lose his MoD pension.

Sentencing Grogan, Judge Holt said because of the large amount of money involved and the persistence of the offending, a suspended sentence was inappropriate.

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