Man receives fraud conviction over planning process subversion

A North Yorkshire man has been convicted of fraud offences after a local council complained that he had attempted to subvert a planning process.

Keith Shaw: convicted of a number of fraud offences
Keith Shaw: convicted of a number of fraud offences

Keith Shaw, 37, of Sleights, Whitby, appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday 13 November, where he was convicted of a number of fraud offices spanning three years between 2012 and 2015.

Shaw, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, North Yorkshire Police said in a statement.

He was ordered to pay £2,747 in compensation and £7,285 in costs and was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work, the statement added.

According to the statement, Shaw - a solicitor and deputy district judge - was first brought to the attention of North Yorkshire Police when Scarborough Borough Council reported concerns in November 2015. The report from the council indicated that Shaw had attempted to subvert a planning process, the statement said.

It was alleged that Shaw, who had applied for planning permission in several locations within the Whitby area, had "attempted to influence the planning office by submitting numerous correspondence purporting to be from members of the general public in support of his applications", the statement said.

"The letters emails were found to have been submitted by Shaw using the names and addresses of others without their permission," the statement continued. "The content of the correspondence was also entirely fictitious."

Detective Inspector Jon Hodgeon, head of economic crime and major fraud at North Yorkshire Police, said: "Keith Shaw is a highly qualified judge who used his enhanced knowledge of the legal system to commit crime and deceive a number of public sector organisations.

"He is a narcissistic individual who thought he could use his position to defraud others for personal gain.

"It is important we catch professionals such as Shaw as it sends a clear message that no-one is above the law.

"This was a particularly complex investigation lasting eighteen months and I praise the diligence and professionalism of the investigation team. I also extend my thanks to the many partners and witnesses involved in this case for their support."

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