Essex-England– Judge David Goodin sentences Magistrate Carol Dean, 54, to community service plus fines and suspends her 18 month prison sentence and calls her a hypocrite. Judge David Goodin fails to see the hypocrisy in sparing a fellow judge jail while the plebes who commit minor, petty street crime with minor losses are routinely sent away to jail for lengthy sentences. Who is really the hypocrite here? A former magistrate, Dean, stole over £ 12,000 by falsely claiming lost pay. Low income, regular people are routinely jailed for stealing candy, sandwiches, or committing traffic violations by the same court. How hypocritical. Compare these “crimes” committed by the proles to the one committed by a public servant paid to uphold the law and represent justice:
DALE TYRONE FRANK WINSKILL, 21, of no fixed address, was sent to prison for a total of 12 weeks. He was given eight weeks for stealing a handbag and contents from another person at Chelmsford on October 4 in a planned offence while subject to a community order. He must pay an £80 victim surcharge and a £180 criminal courts charge. The community order imposed on September 16 was revoked and he was given two four week sentences, one concurrent, one consecutive, for the original offences of using threatening behaviour and assaulting a Police Constable.
Carol Dean, 54, of Littlecroft, Chelmsford, had denied fraud between May 2009 and May 2014 by falsely representing she had lost pay when sitting as a magistrate and was entitled to claim for that loss but was found guilty by an 11-1 majority verdict.
Dean was given a 18 prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community.
She was also given a 20 week curfew between 8pm-7am and ordered to pay costs and compensation of £16,000.
Sentencing her Judge David Goodin accused her of hypocrisy by sitting in judgment of others as a magistrate at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court while she was cheating on her expenses.
Giving evidence during her five day trial at Ipswich Crown Court Dean said she wasn’t a dishonest person and wouldn’t have claimed the money if she hadn’t thought it was owed to her.
Dean, who was a magistrate for more than a decade, said she could now see that what she had done was wrong but she hadn’t realised it at the time.
She told the court she had accrued flexitime leave by working extra hours as a local council admin assistant and had used that time to sit as a magistrate.
Dean claimed she believed she was employed on a temporary contract with London Borough of Redbridge council and denied that she was a permanent member of staff with 12 days discretionary paid leave to sit as a magistrate.
She admitted using her manager’s electronic signature on annual letters to the court service supporting her claims for loss of earnings but said her manager had initially signed one of the letters and had been happy for her to deal with subsequent letters.
Dean accepted she hadn’t suffered any loss of earnings from her monthly salary to sit as a magistrate and that the loss of earnings she had claimed back was for the flexitime she had accrued.
It has been alleged that Dean wrongly stated for five years she was only employed on a temporary contract as an admin assistant with the London Borough of Redbridge council and didn’t get paid when she missed work because of her duties as a magistrate.
However, although she was initially employed on a temporary contact she had become a permanent member of staff with the council in late 2008 and was given one day’s pay a month when she was sitting as a magistrate, said Richard Potts, prosecuting.
He alleged that Dean’s claims for loss of earnings were supported by a number of letters purporting to come from her council manager.
Mr Potts claimed the telephone number on the letters was Dean’s extension number and the letters were allegedly signed with her manager’s electronic signature which Dean had access to.