Devon

Former Exeter City Council boss jailed over bribes

Anthony Bodgin Image copyright Nick irving
Image caption The offences took place between 2005 and 2010 when Mr Bodgin worked as a housing manager at Exeter City Council

A former senior council boss has been jailed for masterminding a conspiracy which defrauded taxpayers out of £700,000.

Anthony Bodgin, 65, of Tiverton abused housing schemes and took bribes from tradesmen, Exeter Crown Court heard.

Kevin Wingrave, 52, of Plymouth, who bribed his way into the conspiracy was also jailed for three and a half years.

Three other defendants were given a range of suspended jail terms for their involvement, at Exeter Crown Court.

Bodgin of Melbourne Street, Tiverton, was jailed for three and a half years after he admitted five counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office, one count of committing misconduct in public office and one charge of fraud by abuse of position.

He was bribed with tickets to Premiership football matches, meals and golf trips, knowing he should have declared such gifts, and is estimated to have personally gained £400,000.

Prosecutor Roger Smart said Bodgin was paid £125,000 in backhanders for a £2m contract with Wingrave for work to install vents into council houses.

Wingrave, 52, of Periwinkle Drive, Plymouth, admitted five counts of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office.

'Abused trust'

The court was also told Bodgin took backhanders from associated tradesmen like scaffolders and that money was paid out to firms for inspection work which was "never completed," or unnecessary, Mr Smart said.

An Exeter City Council spokesperson said Bodgin "abused a position of trust for personal gain."

There will be a Proceeds of Crime hearing later about recovering the lost money.

Wingrave's partner Lyn McMayon, 59, of the same address, admitted two counts of converting criminal property; Harold McGirl, of Southbourne Road, St Austell, Cornwall, pleaded guilty to one charge of committing misconduct in public office and Gary Rawlings, 59, of mill Meadow, Biggleswade, admitted fraud.

All three were given varying suspended sentences for their involvement.

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