Suspended prison sentence for ex-Derbyshire County Council chairman Robin Baldry

EX-DERBYSHIRE County Council chairman Robin Baldry has today been given a suspended prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of theft from the authority.

Baldry, who represented the Buxton west ward on the county council, admitted theft of £863 in subsistence allowances between May 1, 2005 and October 30, 2010 and theft of £1,200 in mileage claims between the same dates, when he appeared at Derby Crown Court last Thursday. The case had been adjourned to today (Tuesday) for sentence.

Justin Widoger, prosecuting, said: “The defendant pleaded guilty last week to two offences of theft. This relates to the dishonest claiming of expenses while he was first a county councillor which was from 2005 and then from June 2009 when he became chairman of Derbyshire County Council.”

And Peter Pimm, defending, added: “There is dishonesty and there is dishonesty. Dishonesty generally connotes greed or at least lining your own pockets or somebody else’s pocket.

“He recognises there was a very high level of integrity expected of public figures and that is why he entered his plea and accepted that what he did was dishonest.

“It was slapdash and cavalier.”

Judge John Burgess said: “It is sad to see you in the dock facing sentence today because you have done so much good both in a personal capacity and as a public servant.

“Here you are because when you were the chairman of Derbyshire County Council, and before as a councillor, you claimed amounts to which you were not entitled.

“You must have had a good understanding of the demands made on the public purse.”

Baldry, 70, of Terrace Road, Buxton, was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months with a four-month curfew between the hours of 7pm and 7am. He must also pay £2263 compensation and £6343.25 costs.

Baldry was elected to Derbyshire County Council in 2005 and served as chairman of the authority for two years from 2009. He has also served as a High Peak Borough councillor and was Mayor of the borough in 2008.

For the full story, see Thursday’s Buxton Advertiser.