Beds, Herts & Bucks

Hertfordshire surgeon jailed over fake break-in

Dr Anthony McGrath Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption The prosecution said Dr McGrath was motivated by a desperate need for money

An "arrogant" hospital surgeon who staged a break-in at his home and committed mortgage fraud has been jailed for eight years.

Dr Anthony McGrath, 46, claimed antiques were stolen from a house he was renting on the Luton Hoo Estate.

The £180,000 insurance scam was uncovered when he sent police images of "stolen" items taken after the supposed break-in.

He was convicted of fraud and perverting the course of justice.

Sentencing him, Judge Barbara Mensah said McGrath's lies knew "no bounds".

His GP wife Anne-Louise McGrath, 44, was found not guilty of similar charges.

During the four-month trial, Luton Crown Court heard McGrath - who was based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore - had massive debts but still wanted to finish renovating the couple's new £1.1m home in St Albans, Hertfordshire.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption Dr Anne-Louise McGrath, who was cleared of all charges, told the court that she left much of the family’s financial affairs to her husband

On 15 April 2015, he claimed 95 items worth £182,612.50 had been stolen from the 19th Century cottage he was renting.

When the surgeon later sent photographs of the items to police, jurors heard, data accompanying each image showed they were taken three months after the alleged break-in.

Latitude and longitude information also pinpointed their location as the McGrath family home in Co Meath, Ireland, which the police confirmed.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption A £30,000 fireplace that was reported stolen had been installed at the McGrath family home in Ireland in 2010

Mrs Mensah said "greed and arrogance" had been McGrath's downfall as he "didn't think an insurance company or the police would question a man of your standing".

She added that three fraudulent mortgage applications to secure more than £1m on two properties demonstrated "breathtaking brazenness".

McGrath of Oaklands Lane, Smallford, denied all charges but was found guilty of four counts of insurance fraud, perverting the course of justice and three counts of mortgage fraud.

He was led down to the cells halfway through his sentencing, after accusing the judge of "suppressing the truth" and being an "abusive, racist and terrible person".

Mrs McGrath of Clarence Road, St Albans, denied and was cleared of three counts of fraud relating to her failure to tell the insurance company she still had some jewellery and three counts of fraud relating to three mortgage applications.

Image copyright South Beds News Agency
Image caption McGrath hoped his scam would raise enough to finish renovations on his property in St Albans - which has since been found structurally unsound

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites