Scottish Daily Mail

Royal official in £100k bribe scam jailed


A GREEDY former property manager for the Queen has been jailed for taking £100,000 in bribes to award contracts for Royal residences including Buckingham Palace.

Ronald Harper, 64, ‘betrayed his colleagues’ by accepting gifts and payments from company directors he then handed work to. Jailing him for five years yesterday, Judge Loraine-Smith criticised Harper’s ‘lack of remorse’ for his crime.

The Royal Household official managed the Queen’s main London home as well as St James’s Palace, Clarence House and Windsor Castle, until he was suspended in 2012. Harper, from Sudbury in Suffolk, awarded large contracts to various companies to maintain historic buildings paid for by the Sovereign Grant.

He was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to make corrupt payments after two trials at Southwark Crown Court in June and August. The bribes were made ‘over a significan­t period of time’ either directly to Harper or via his family, jurors were told.

Sentencing Harper yesterday, Judge Loraine-Smith said there were multiple sides to his character. One was a ‘hardworkin­g, apparently loyal team player, admired and trusted by your colleagues’ but the other was ‘dishonest and greedy’.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘While this was an isolated case, it has reinforced the Royal Household’s determinat­ion … to prevent corruption.’

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