The trusted preacher who stole £42K from for­mer leader of city coun­cil

Derby Telegraph - - NEWS - By MARTIN NAY­LOR martin.nay­[email protected]­

A DIS­GRACED for­mer leader of Derby City Coun­cil was fleeced of £42,000 by a friend he en­trusted with his fi­nances while he served a prison sen­tence.

Derby Crown Court heard how Mau­rice Burgess gave An­drayas Khan full con­trol of his bank ac­counts when he was jailed for five years in 2011.

But when he was re­leased, al­most half­way through his sen­tence, he found bank loan let­ters he knew noth­ing about in his post. Fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed tens of thou­sands of pounds were miss­ing.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment, Mr Burgess, who led the coun­cil be­tween 2003 and 2005, said he felt “shocked that a friend could do this”.

Now An­drayas, a for­mer preacher and teacher, has been spared an im­me­di­ate prison term.

Judge Shaun Smith QC said: “You are 63 years of age and of pre­vi­ous good char­ac­ter not just in the eyes of the law but in the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“Your fall from grace is quite a big one be­cause you un­der­took pos­i­tive work with in­ter-faith and com­mu­nity co­he­sion. But you took ad­van­tage of a friend that trusted you while he was serv­ing the cus­to­dial el­e­ment of a five-year sen­tence. You breached his trust and ob­tained £42,000 from him.

“This was not un­so­phis­ti­cated, you changed de­tails of bank ac­counts so you could ex­tract money and when he was re­leased from prison he found out loans he knew noth­ing about had been taken out un­der his name.

“I ac­cept you did not use the cash to spend on lux­ury items such as hol­i­days but in­stead used it to al­le­vi­ate the fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties you found your­self in.”

Christo­pher Jeyes, prose­cut­ing, said the of­fend­ing be­gan after Mr Burgess was handed a five-year-jail term in 2011 for his­tor­i­cal sex of­fences against an un­der­age boy.

He said Mr Burgess en­trusted Khan, who he had known for a num­ber of years, with his fi­nances while he served the cus­to­dial part of his sen­tence. But, over the next three years, Khan stole £42,000 from him.

Mr Jeyes said: “Mr Burgess had known Mr Khan for a long time and be­lieved him to be a re­spectable and re­spon­si­ble man as he was a preacher in a nearby parish.

“He left him with blank cheques to pay for le­gal fees but it was dis­cov­ered that the de­fen­dant moved money around be­tween ac­counts and took out loans in Mr Burgess’ name with­out him know­ing.

“The of­fend­ing came to light when Mr Burgess was re­leased early from his sen­tence in June 2014 and he found bank loan let­ters he knew noth­ing about in his post when he got home.

“He con­fronted the de­fen­dant about it and he ad­mit­ted he had taken out loans say­ing it was to pay for im­prove­ments to a prop­erty he owned in Brad­ford.”

Mr Jeyes said Mr Burgess con­tacted the po­lice and an in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan.

In a vic­tim per­sonal state­ment, Mr Burgess said: “Things have been ex­tremely stress­ful, I have been suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion and I have been go­ing to coun­selling.

“Hav­ing come out of prison I was shocked to find my friend had done this. I now find it dif­fi­cult to trust peo­ple.”

Khan, now of Ken­more Walk, Brad­ford, pleaded guilty to a num­ber of counts of fraud.

Gill Batts, mit­i­gat­ing, said her client was a for­mer teacher who had lost more than £100,000 when a busi­ness ven­ture that saw him take out two Papa John’s pizza fran­chises for his sons in Not­ting­ham failed.

She said: “He was em­ployed by the church to build bridges be­tween the Asian com­mu­nity and the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties in four parishes in Der­byshire.

“His mar­riage broke down be­cause of the fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties he was ex­pe­ri­enc­ing and he went through a pe­riod of real fi­nan­cial hard­ship.”

Khan was handed a two-year jail term, sus­pended for two years. He was also or­dered to carry out 240 hours un­paid work and will be cur­fewed to his home ad­dress each night be­tween 7pm and 7am for the next six months.

An­drayas Khan stole £42,000 from Mau­rice Burgess

Mau­rice Burgess

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