The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle



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A Pot to Piss In

  • an “In My View” article, by NIGEL WARD, reporting on the clandestine circulation of documents that appear to constitute evidence of a historical fraud.

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GENIE

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

It is surely a matter of the most profound significance when a rift appears between Councillors elected to the same local authority as they begin to engage in the most ruthless machinations, albeit from the best of all possible motives – the public interest.

It appears that a document has been ‘leaked’ from within the bowels of the Town Hall and posted to a number of ‘significant’ recipients – very probably by the same ‘insider’ who has, in the past, ‘leaked’ information that SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer Lisa DIXON has risked her career in local government to suppress, concerning the cover-up of the many complaints from victims of former Scarborough Mayor and known predatory paedophile – Councillor Peter JACONELLI.

I report from a position of certain knowledge, having been provided with a copy of the documentation that has arrived in the hands of a number of influential people – Councillors and others. To all appearances, the documentation seems to constitute a fraudulent benefit claim by a serving Councillor.

I can confirm, too – both from personal knowledge and from the testimony of other witnesses (including a pro bono publico professional graphologist) – that the claim details give every appearance of having been submitted in the hand-writing of the claimant’s ‘mistress’ – not his wife.

A number of Councillors, as well as other persons, have confirmed to me that they have received, on or shortly after, Friday 28th February, a white A4 envelope with printed address label, containing some 55 (fifty-five) pages of photocopied single-sided A4 paper, plus an ‘introductory’ frontispiece, bearing what appear to be official Council photographs of the claimant and his putative ‘carer’, together with a brief explanatory text naming the protagonists and highlighting the obvious falsity of the claim embodied in the rest of the paperwork, as well as revealing the identifiable handwriting used to fill out the claim form – “because [name redacted]‘s hand will not let him rite[sic] very well”.

(Amongst the recipients, by the way, was my Ward Councillor Dorothy CLEGG [Con.], who referred the documentation directly to the Borough Solicitor, as did several other recipients. please note that information is deemed to have been ‘published’ once it has been shared with a third party. It follows that the information alluded to in this article is, legally speaking, already in the public domain – and my hands are therefore clean).

The application is signed by the applicant, in his customary strong hand, and dated 9th December 1996, immediately beneath these printed words:

  • Warning – to knowingly give false information may result in prosecution.

The claim form is countersigned by a GP who was – I am assured – a close personal friend of the claimant.

Many of the details provided in the claim appear to be palpable falsehoods.

Taken together, even these few facts seem to offer compelling prima facie evidence that a major benefit fraud was attempted – perhaps successfully, perhaps not – some seventeen years ago. One hesitates to estimate the monetary extant of such a claim but, if successful, it must surely by now have amounted to many tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of pounds.

The claimant asserts that he needs “to have help to get upstairs”, upon which he must pause “and sometimes can lose balance” – an assertion made seventeen years ago by a man who I personally have since witnessed, on an ongoing basis throughout my thirteen years in Whitby, rapidly ascending and descending a twelve-foot ladder with ease, often one-handed. Yet he claims to “use walking sticks in the house and the handrail to go upstairs”.

Some further examples of the assertions made by the claimant include:

  • p.12: “I need help to put on my shirt and trousers, socks and shoes”.
  • p.14: [In response to a question regarding nocturnal use of the toilet] – “In winter I have a bottle which my wife holds for me as it is cold”.
  • p.18: [In response to a question regarding assistance with medication during the night] – “Cannot reach pills”.
  • p.19: [In response to a question regarding the preparation of food] – “My hands are very stiff and I drop things easily. I cannot always turn tap off”.
  • p.20: [In response to the question "Do you need help at mealtimes?"] “I can manage with a spoon”.
  • p.27: “I have piles and when I have had my bowels opened my wife has to help because I get[sic] not reach myself to put cream on and keep me clean”.

Given these mortifying personal difficulties (which, according to the claimant, had persisted throughout the five previous years), one wonders how the poor soul was able to discharge the business of the Council, let alone his own movements.

Most disturbing of all is the information provided by long-standing Councillors that the claimant has never displayed in public – at public meetings, at dinner dances, on the golf course – any of the disabilities detailed in the claim form, throughout some thirty years in public life. No doubt there exists CCTV footage – or perhaps even mileage.

I am also informed (with what reliability I cannot judge) that claims of this sort were at the time of the claim (1996) processed by a department of the Borough Council located in King Street, Scarborough, in premises annexed to the Town Hall and staffed by Council employees. The Council will know more about that.

A fraudulent benefit claim is one thing; the possibility – however remote – that influence may have been brought to bear on benefits department staff amounts to a concern that a serious abuse of public office may have taken place.

One can be forgiven for speculating as to whether or not it was the case that benefits department employees may have been reluctant to challenge the veracity of the claim – given the perceived power and influence exerted by such a persuasive and influential applicant, supported by his influential ‘mistress’ – afraid not to wave it through. Heaven forbid that there should be any grounds for concern that they may even have been paid to wave it through.

Certainly, on what I have seen thus far, I believe that an investigation unquestionably must take place.

Only so can the public interest be best served – and be seen to have been served.

But let us not forget that it is possible that there is an explanation; perhaps the documentation has been forged. That would surely have been an extremely daunting undertaking. The design of the claim forms, at least to a lay observer, would appear to be convincingly authentic. The hand-writing appears genuine. Certainly, the claimant’s signature closely resembles the claimant’s signature, as it appears on Declarations of Interests and other Council documentation. But only a thoroughgoing investigation can establish that.

As to the motive behind the circulation of the documentation, who knows? If it brings about the exposure of a rather serious crime that would otherwise remain out of the public view, that can only be adjudged to be in the public interest.

So we shall see now whether or not SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services refers the matter to the North Yorkshire Police – as I believe she is duty-bound to do. Such was the case, albeit after robust prompting, in the matter of (then) Councillor Tim LAWN. And, more recently, such has been the case – though only after the most sustained pressure – in the case of (former) Mayor of Scarborough Peter JACONELLI.

Curiously, Real Whitby has never received even a token gesture of acknowledgement from Lisa DIXON – much less an expression of gratitude.

At a time when the DWP (and its French contractor Atos) is facing criticism in the severest possible terms for the way in which ordinary people, some with the most challenging health issues, quite literally have been left for dead – and fraud, be it noted, is estimated to account for only a little over one half of one percent of the benefits budget – many readers will feel deeply affronted by the notion that the already well-to-do and robustly healthy (provided only that they are firmly ensconced within ‘the establishment’) can apparently evade the net with consummate ease when it comes to fraudulent claims.

Not any more – I would like to think.

Before publishing this article, I provided an early-draft version of the text to Scarborough Borough Council and the North Yorkshire Police, requesting a comment for publication. I should like to know what steps are being taken to investigate this prima facie evidence of calculated benefit fraud by two elected members acting in joint enterprise, and perhaps entailing the possibility of the collusion (or coercion) of staff in the benefits department.

At the time of publication, I have received no response. Should any response materialise after publication (and experience tells me that it is unlikely to do so), I shall post it in the comments section at the foot of this article.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

R_H_I_P

First published 16th March 2014.

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25 Responses to "The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle"

  1. Tisme's Page  March 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Brilliant if deeply concerning expose Nigel!

    Love the thematic content btw:

    It appears that a document has been ‘leaked’ from within the bowels of the Town Hall and posted to a number of ‘significant’ recipients – very probably by the same ‘insider’ who has, in the past, ‘leaked’ information…”

    and of course:

    ” p.27: “I have piles and when I have had my bowels opened my wife has to help because I get[sic] not reach myself to put cream on and keep me clean”.

    Not one to be read over sunday tea! Still brilliant though :)

    Reply
  2. Amethyst  March 16, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    It appears that when an obstruction is removed it all comes leaking out.
    I wonder how many other people’s bowels may become a bit loose on reading this?
    Excellent, intelligent and hilarious.
    This must beg the question of how many people, over how many disclipines, might be involved in corruption and to what depth.
    I look forward to finding out, Nigel.
    You are certainly the man for the job
    Pmsl

    Reply
  3. Mark Lewis  March 16, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Well done Nigel! It would be glorious if the insider responsible for the leaked documents could provide further evidence in the exertion of fear amongst the government staff or was it a bonus? I do believe that due to corruption of the NYPD that external investigators should be used, just to ensure an unbiased investigation. What will Ms. Dixon do now I wonder.

    Reply
  4. Sally H  March 16, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    These two really are disgusting. It’s almost a hobby to them to find ways of freeloading from whoever and whatever.
    I hope they realise what people will be thinking as they pass them. I wonder if they have completed forms for their paupers graves……

    Reply
  5. Glynn Hobson  March 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Another informative article, thanks Nigel.

    i find it reassuring that there are still some real people, good men and women out there, exposing the dross in our society.

    Respect.

    Reply
  6. Glenn Kilpatrick  March 16, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I really hope there is a heaven and a hell. Getting late for them to get what they deserve in this life.

    Reply
  7. cheeki kimbob  March 17, 2014 at 4:59 am

    Brilliant, were you by any chance related to Sherlok Holmes……..or are you him reincarniated……..I love reading your posts x

    Reply
  8. Stakesby Legs  March 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Codhead nailed it already…

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/hold-still-dear

    Reply
  9. David Clark  March 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Brilliant article Nigel,it would be laughable if it was not so serious.What are the Authorities going to do? They have been on the make for years.

    Reply
  10. Richard Ineson  March 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    A remarkable story and one which will surely attract the attention of the fraud investigators employed by the DHSS or is it now the DoWP? We often hear tell of severe action being taken against the more vulnerable members of our society, say those single parent mums who are driven to do a bit of ‘moonlighting’ so that their kids can feel part of ‘the gang’ and have those new trainers that all the other kids have got. Yes, the full weight of the law must be brought to bear on people who abuse the benefit system. I wonder, for instance, whatever happened to Assistant Chief Constable David Collins, formerly employed by North Yorkshire Police,whilst Miss Kenyon was Chair of both the NYPA and the NYPA Management Board, he appears to have abused the benefits system back in 2009,and was discovered doings so, by our former much loved and cherished Chief Constable Della ‘I love a good shower’ Canning. Is he, I wonder, still languishing in some ‘oubliette’ his sickly frame chained to the cell wall,his tattered and stained prison clothes rotting on his back? For those of you who may have forgotten one of North Yorkshire’s finest, here are the facts surrounding the early retirement of Assistant Chief Constable, David Collins in July 2009, who earned a £100,000 salary, and who went on sick leave in November 2008, claiming stress, and was still off work in June 2009, on half of his salary.

    On 4th June, he attended a University of York conference and handed out flyers to delegates to promote his life coaching consultancy service.

    But, unfortunately for Mr Collins, one of the conference delegates was his former boss, North Yorkshire’s ex-Chief Constable Della Cannings, who promptly reported him to North Yorkshire Police Authority.

    They investigated and discovered Mr Collins was also offering mentoring services via the internet.

    The 49-year-old was allowed to back up his business qualifications with training while he worked as a policeman, but he did not have permission to seek customers for his business.

    Shortly after being discovered by Ms Cannings, Mr Collins went on holiday. When he returned he discovered that the police authority wanted to relieve him of his post.

    Instead Mr Collins, of Monk Fryston near Selby, successfully applied for retirement. Because of this, he will still receive a six-figure sum for his 30 years of service.

    Jeremy Holderness, the chief executive of North Yorkshire Police Authority, said:

    “Although the authority considered all options with regard to the conduct of Mr Collins in the circumstances, it was not possible to instigate formal disciplinary action against him as he was no longer a serving police officer.”
    There are other considerations here of course – if Mr.Collins was too sick to work, he was presumably claiming sickness/incapacity benefit, under the terms of which, the claimant is not allowed to do any work of any kind, perhaps the Dept. of Work and Pensions might have an interest in reclaiming any benefits which might have been paid in this case.

    So what has happened to this highly paid, sorry, esteemed, former police officer? I think that we should be told.

    Reply
  11. GERALD.  March 17, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    ””’ — processed by a department of the Borough Council located in King Street, Scarborough, in premises annexed to the Town Hall and staffed by Council employees.””’

    Hmmmm, ‘council employees’ ???

    A political fallacy, the ELECTORS are the employers, not the councillors, who are but a management service.
    The Electors vote in the councillors, as in a democracy, to carry out work on the electors behalf, which includes acting as the personnel department, not as ”the employer/s’.
    It’s time the employees of the council realised who really employs them, as any of the electors, finding any employee not carrying out the work they are being paid for, can institute action, by complaint, for the employee’s removal, as not being suitable material to be employed by the council.
    First the political fallacy should be removed. The ‘stick’ which is used for control and to frighten employees to cover up for corruption. The electors can also dismiss councillors, by use of the collective vote.

    Reply
  12. Richard Ineson  March 18, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Not to mention dear old former NYP Chief Constable, Della ‘I love a good shower’Canning, who also took early retirement on the grounds of ill health but thankfully, made a complete recovery and became the Ambulance Service Supremo, let’s hope that she remembered to tell the DHSS that she’d got another job.

    Reply
  13. Stakesby Legs  March 18, 2014 at 9:46 am

    I bet there’s tons more where this came from. Go on, Nigel, bury the bitch!!!

    Reply
  14. b chatt  March 18, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Preparation X ?

    Reply
  15. Nigel  March 22, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Following wide circulation of an official email from Scarborough Borough Council’s Sharon ROBINSON – PA to both Chief Executive Jim DILLON and SBC Leader Councillor Tom FOX – to all Scarborough Borough Councillors:

    From: Sharon Robinson
    Date: 21 March 2014 15:04:50 GMT
    To: Noticeboard, Councillors Email Group
    Subject: Cllr Jane Kenyon-Miller

    Afternoon all

    I have been asked by Cllr Kenyon to advise you all that she would like to be referred to as Cllr Jane Kenyon-Miller with immediate effect.

    Sharon
    Sharon Robinson
    PA to the Chief Executive and Leader
    Scarborough Borough Council
    Town Hall, St Nicholas Street
    Scarborough, YO11 2HG
    Tel: 01723 232302
    E-mail: Sharon.Robinson@Scarborough.gov.uk

    speculation is running high this weekend that Councillor ‘Bill’ MILLER and Councillor Jane KENYON may have tied the knot.

    After all these years, why now?

    Could the explanation lie in s.80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984?

    Wikipedia [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spousal_privilege ] explains this, thus:

    “England and Wales

    While spousal communications in England and Wales are no longer privileged, section 80 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (as amended) gives spouses or civil partners of defendants protection against being compelled by the prosecution to testify, except in limited circumstances.

    A spouse or civil partner of a defendant is almost always considered a competent witness for either side, and may choose to testify for or against their spouse. A defendant may, when relevant, compel their spouse or civil partner to testify on their behalf. The prosecution however, may only compel the testimony of the defendant’s spouse or civil partner in cases of domestic abuse or violence or sexual offences towards persons under 16. When the spouse or civil partner is a co-defendant to the charges, they may not be compelled to testify.

    Note that while this gives special recognition to spousal relationships and civil partnerships, the law does not provide for a privilege and it is never possible to exclude evidence solely on the basis that it was a private conversation between a married couple.”

    Of course, it may be true love . . .

    Reply
    • J A  May 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      …or cancer!

      Reply
  16. David Clark  March 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

    A change of name. Not for the first time.

    Reply
  17. Merlin  March 26, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    The marriage is a fait accomplit. The Lovebirds consumated their union amongst the Canaries.

    Reply
  18. Nigel  April 12, 2014 at 10:06 am

    http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/fraud-case-success-for-council-legal-team-1-4093788

    “SCARBOROUGH Council’s counter-fraud team has been praised following the successful prosecution of a benefit fraudster who has been jailed for 15 months.”

    Reply
  19. Sally H  April 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Clearly that particular department within SBC appear to be doing their job. I state
    ‘appear’ because I know there are those that are claiming benefits that are not entitled to them, and have been reported to the DWP, that will never appear on the front of ‘ The Scarborough News’.

    They are allowed to ‘make a deal’, feign ignorance to the system , and escape the exposure and humiliation they so deserve.

    These invisible parasites are far worse than those who become
    ‘heads on spikes’ , courtesy of weak local media , because they are wealthy and pure greed is their only motivation.

    Reply
  20. Nigel  April 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    I have no information to suggest that the man featured in the following article is a Scarborough Borough Councillor:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2606847/Benefits-cheat-claimed-24-000-disability-payments-playing-cricket-house-repossessed.html

    Benefits cheat who claimed he was in constant pain to pocket £24,000 in disability payments while playing cricket with his local team could have his house repossessed to pay it back

    Stewart Lorains claimed he was too disabled to wash or dress himself
    But investigators filmed him batting and keeping wicket for a village team
    After he narrowly avoided jail last year, prosecutors want the money back
    Court hears the 54-year-old could sell his house to pay back the cash

    Reply
  21. rod mathers  April 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

    “Reckless company directors could face tougher penalties and be forced to pay compensation to victims under new rules”

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2608284/Vince-Cable-plans-clampdown-rogue-directors.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    “Mr Cable said that directors convicted of a commercial offence overseas will be banned from running British companies. He also outlined tougher disqualification and compensation laws.”

    Belvedere Computers Incorporated?

    Reply
  22. Nick  April 28, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    So Bill and Jane get off scott-free, and this woman (see link below), for doing exactly the same thing gets a royal stint in the slammer???

    I thought we were all equal under the law???

    I guess not.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1247943/agoraphobic-travelled-the-world-on-benefits

    Reply
  23. Geraldine Mitchell  May 10, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Considering the efforts to minimalise/cover up and or deny the shenanigans re expenses, I wonder what this accusation of a very serious criminal act will unleash. Will they have learnt perhaps that ignoring the real Whitby won’t make it all just go away. From their initial response they look as if they have not learnt much.
    Keep on being intrepid on behalf of the people!Ty Nigel and the Real Whitby.

    Reply

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whitby photography by glenn kilpatrick