Lincolnshire

Bracebridge Heath practice manager jailed for £250k theft

A former GP practice manager who stole nearly £250,000 from the surgery he managed has been jailed for two years and eight months.

Stuart Coffey, 44, transferred cash from Bracebridge Heath Medical Practice into his own account between 2008 and 2013.

Lincoln Crown Court heard he stole so much money the surgery fell into rent arrears of £37,000.

Coffey, of Bede Close, Quarrington, pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.

The fraud was discovered when Coffey left the practice and staff discovered the rent had not been paid and other invoices were outstanding.

'Ashamed and disgusted'

Prosecutor Jonathon Dee said a review of accounts found "pretty much consistently over five years the defendant had been stealing from the practice".

The judge, Recorder Stuart Sprawson, said: "This was deliberate. It was clearly planned."

Coffey's barrister, Mark Harries, said his client was "ashamed and disgusted with himself".

He said he had begun taking the money after struggling to meet mortgage payments.

Denise Bluck, the current practice manager at the surgery, said the theft had a "significant impact" on the practice but it was "working hard to deal with the impact".

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