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Fraudster who stole £70,000 from Barnet Council pension pot sentenced

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:45 26 February 2020

Barnet Council uses the thousands raised from fines to cover the costs of collecting them. Picture: Barnet Council

Barnet Council uses the thousands raised from fines to cover the costs of collecting them. Picture: Barnet Council

Archant

The man who stole £70,000 from Barnet Council’s then-Capita managed pension pot has been sentenced.

Joseph Hutchinson-Clish, of Orchard Road in Darlington, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, suspended for two years, at a hearing at Harrow Crown Court on February 25.

He will also be subject to a 15-day rehabilitation order.

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Hutchinson-Clish stole a total of £70,596.62 while working at the Darlington office of outsourcing firm Capita, which managed the council's pension fund from 2013.

Defence barrister Tristan Chaize argued against an immediate jail term, telling the court imprisonment would have an "extremely severe" impact on someone with "psychiatric difficulties".

The judge, Recorder M Chawla QC, said it was "wholly unclear" why Hutchinson-Clish committed the fraud, and there was no evidence of "extravagant expenditure".

The judge added: "I also accept that you have serious and recognisable medical conditions, which have required… urgent and intensive treatment - and yet require further urgent and intensive treatment."

The council recently ended Capita's contract to manage the pension scheme and awarded it to Bradford City Council, which administers the West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

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