Former JP spared jail for fiddling expenses
9:03am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in Local
A FORMER magistrate has been spared jail after fraudulently claiming more than £22,000 in expenses over five years.
Carlton Janson, aged 69, of Bradford Park Drive, The Haulgh, made the false claims while sitting as a JP at Bolton Magistrates' Court.
He made false claims for loss of earnings of £20,585 and exaggerated mileage claims, which came to £1,419, between 2006 and 2011, Burnley Crown Court heard yesterday.
Janson, wearing a navy blue suit, walked into the dock using a walking stick, and said: “Thank you, Your Honour” when Judge Andrew Woolman passed his sentence of eight months in prison, suspended for two years.
The retired buyer at Pharmatube in Greater Manchester, has pledged to pay back the full amount within two months with the help of his family.
Janson, who was on the bench at the Bolton court for 11 years, was found to have submitted financial loss allowance claims while on leave from his employer or off work sick. He was found to have inflated his mileage expenses by 17 miles per day.
Judge Andrew Woolman told Janson: “You have brought shame and disgrace on yourself and your family and it will take a lot of living down.
“You have seriously let yourself, your family and the Bolton bench down. Magistrates are expected to behave properly and, of course, honestly.”
But the judge said that Janson’s actions “did not take away” from the service he contributed to the bench and said his poor health, which included mild Parkinson's, depression and arthritis, had been a mitigating factor.
Det Con Neil Tate, from the volume fraud team, said: “For more than 10 years Janson sat as a magistrate and performed an invaluable public service.
“He perhaps thought, because he was in the privileged position of upholding the law, he could break the rules or they did not apply to him. They very much did and this case shows that the police, CPS and courts will take positive action against those who break the law, regardless of standing.”
Kate McAlinden, District Crown Prosecutor said: “Carlton Janson’s fraudulent expense claims were a substantial and prolonged breach of the trust of the public. He undermined the very laws he was employed to uphold.”
Janson pleaded guilty to two offences of obtaining property by deception and two counts of fraud. He will be brought back before the court if he fails to repay the money by May 20.
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