Planner jailed over bribes
A former area planning officer with the London Borough of Enfield who took bribes to pay for his wife's cosmetic surgery and fertility treatment has been jailed for 18 months.
Andrew Bigby, aged 41, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court after admitting two counts of misconduct in a public office and two of concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct. The court heard that Bigby changed planning records and pushed through controversial extensions during nearly three years of shady dealing.
He collected more than £58,000 in bribes which he split with his wife, who was also employed by the council but in a separate department. Bigby's defence lawyer said the couple were desperate to have a child and had used up all their savings on IVF treatment.
Once Bigby began taking bribes he found it impossible to stop, the court heard. Sentencing Bigby, Judge Stephen Robbins said the planner's action had undermined public confidence in the planning system.
24 April 2006
Courtesy of the Government Planning Portal May2006