Ex-mayor sentenced on war memorial fraud charge

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Former mayor of Featherstone Roy Bickerton has been sentenced for falsifying invoices relating to the town’s war memorial.

Bickerton, 77, pleaded guilty at Leeds Crown Court today to one charge of false accounting while he was treasurer of Featherstone’s War Memorial Garden Committee.

The ex-town and district councillor was handed a 12 month conditional discharge for fabricating invoices totalling £5,700 to the Big Lottery Fund between September 2009 and December 2010.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC told Bickerton he would have faced a prison sentence had he thought the pensioner had pocketed any of the money.

He said: “No-one is suggesting that the money wasn’t spent on the memorial garden, but the accounting was lax and the result was chaos.

“So it came about the Big Lottery Fund asked for an end of year report and when they asked for invoices, there weren’t any for a lot of the expenditure, so you took the step of falsifying them.

“It was falsification of invoices to placate their accounting purposes.”

See this week’s Express for more.