Man’s lies over ‘triple tragedies’ in fam­ily

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ [email protected]­i­tymir­ @jamie_lopez_1

AHEALTHCARE worker lied about the deaths of three fam­ily mem­bers to falsely claim al­most a year’s paid ab­sence from work be­tween 2012 and 2015.

Over a pe­riod of three years, Joseph Wil­son first told his NHS em­ployer a brother had died, fol­lowed later by his cousin and then his sis­ter.

Wil­son, 41, of Faza­k­er­ley, Liver­pool, pleaded guilty to three of­fences of fraud by false rep­re­sen­ta­tion at South Sefton Mag­is­trates’ Court on July 5, 2017.

The health­care as­sis­tant was sen­tenced to 12 weeks in prison, sus­pended for 18 months, 240 hours of un­paid com­mu­nity work and or­dered to pay more than £5,000 com­pen­sa­tion to Southport and Orm­skirk Hospi­tal NHS Trust.

The court heard that Wil­son, a man of pre­vi­ous good char­ac­ter, was dis­missed from his job at the trust in De­cem­ber 2015 on grounds of gross mis­con­duct af­ter dis­cov­ery of the most re­cent de­ceit in­volv­ing his sis­ter.

Fur­ther in­quiries by the trust’s anti-fraud spe­cial­ists also iden­ti­fied the pre­vi­ous ab­sences re­lat­ing to other sup­posed fam­ily be­reave­ments.

Fol­low­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and an in­ter­view un­der cau­tion, Wil­son fi­nally ad­mit­ted that he had lied about all three deaths.

Af­ter the court hear­ing, in­ves­ti­gat­ing anti-fraud spe­cial­ist Paul Bell said: “The rel­a­tively ro­bust sen­tenc­ing, de­spite Wil­son’s pre­vi­ous good be­hav­iour, re­flects the fact that he had com­mit­ted se­rial of­fences over a num­ber of years.

“He also hadn’t come clean about the de­cep­tions when he had an op­por­tu­nity to do so dur­ing his in­ter­view with in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

“Abuse of sick­ness ab­sence is one of the main types of fraud in the NHS and this sentence demon­strates that this kind of abuse of pub­lic funds will not be tol­er­ated.”

Steve Shana­han, di­rec­tor of fi­nance for the trust, said: “The trust takes de­cep­tions like Wil­son’s very se­ri­ously.

“Ev­ery al­le­ga­tion of fraud brought to our at­ten­tion is thor­oughly in­ves­ti­gated.

“We won’t hes­i­tate to press for a prose­cu­tion to be brought where we be­lieve the trust, and in turn the tax­payer, has suf­fered a fi­nan­cial loss.”

Joseph Wil­son claimed paid time off from Southport and Orm­skirk NHS Trust

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