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Pair of ex-GWR staff sentenced after defrauding the company out of over £10,000

Two former members of Great Western Railway (GWR) staff who fraudulently claimed thousands of pounds from their employer have been sentenced following a British Transport Police investigation.

The pair were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court today (Monday 17 February).

The court heard how Mark Heffernan, former deputy operations director at the rail company, falsely claimed a total of £10,530 between June 2009 and December 2016 by authorising expenditure on alcohol, travel, hotels and bonuses.

His former personal assistant, Jennifer Perry, admitted to facilitating the payment of fraudulent expenses, totalling £3,281.

After pleading guilty to four charges of fraud, Heffernan, 47, of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, Devon, was handed a 12-month sentence, suspended for 12 months on each four counts to run concurrently. He was also ordered to pay compensation of £10,530 to GWR within three months and court costs of £1,800.  

Co-defendant, Perry, 46, of Pill, North Somerset, pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud and was fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 of court costs.

Investigating officer DC Dilwyn Lewis said: “Today’s sentencing is part culmination - as a number of trials remain outstanding - of a long, thorough and complex police investigation.

“Heffernan abused his senior position to get additional benefits from the company for him and his team over a period of seven years and Perry knowingly facilitated this on a number of occasions.

“It’s wrong when senior management flagrantly abuse their position of trust and levels of honesty and integrity by acts of fraudulent behaviour. 

“This sentence should send a strong message to fraudsters - we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour and we will make every effort to bring these offenders before the courts.”

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Court Result

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