The former finance director of the Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust was jailed for 12 months yesterday when a court found him guilty of a multimillion-pound fraud.
Philip Neal had falsified the valuations of trust land so that it would appear that the trust had generated a surplus rather than a substantial deficit. In his defence he had cited pressure to deliver government financial targets as the reason for his actions.
According to the Daily Mail, Judge Anthony Goldstaub, QC, sentencing Neal at Chelmsford Crown Court, said: ‘It is difficult to exaggerate the importance and value of trust in public life.
‘The public has to be able to rely on its leaders, if not to get things right, then at least to report as accurately as they can and in a reliable way what has been happening.
‘You created a financial illusion greatly damaging that concept of trust and you did so from a high position in an NHS Trust.’
Although the judge said Neal’s actions were not entirely motivated for personal financial gain, they were partly carried out to enable him to ‘shine’ as a financial manager. The judge told Neal ‘not to despair’ as he still had an opportunity to rebuild his life after his bout of ‘creative’ accountancy.
Click here to read the full Daily Mail article online.