Nottingham

Nottingham Prison pays pub worker thousands of pounds by mistake

Generic photos of prison officer and pub worker Image copyright PA
Image caption The man has been paid more than £10,000 by the Prison Service, despite working for a pub chain

A pub worker has been paid at least £10,000 for his "job" at Nottingham Prison - despite never working there.

The man accepted a prison officer job but did not start his training. Despite this, he has been receiving a monthly wage for more than a year.

The man believes it reflects "severe mismanagement of the system" at the prison, which has been described as being in a "dangerous state".

The Prison Service told the BBC it "apologised for the error".

Money 'wasted'

The would-be prison officer, who works as a deputy manager for a pub chain, said: "What situation is Nottingham Prison in that they don't even know that somebody who is not working for them is still being paid?

"If I'm the only person it's still going to have cost them 20-odd thousand pounds a year [before tax] - but are there potentially more people?

"I would like to know how this has happened because as a taxpayer myself I don't want to know that my money has been wasted."

Image copyright PA
Image caption The pub worker has decided to stay in his current job after becoming aware of wider problems at Nottingham Prison

The 28-year-old was due to start his prison officer training in December 2016 but deferred because his wife was ill.

However, he received about £700 at the end of December, which he assumed was for two weeks' wages.

Since then he has been paid between £1,200 and £1,600 at the end of every month.

"I think they were advertising about £21,000 or £22,000 a year at that point, so I presume after tax contributions that's what the outcome was," he said.

In the meantime he has decided to stay in his current job after becoming aware of wider problems at the prison.

He emailed evidence to the prison, seen by the BBC, to show he does not work for them.

The BBC has also seen an email in which the prison's "People Hub" manager emailed various Ministry of Justice contacts about the error in March 2017.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Prison Service said it would resolve the problem after being notified by the BBC

The pub manager says his extra salary has caused tax problems and he fears being accused of "committing fraud or something".

After being contacted by the BBC, the Prison Service said it would sort it out.

"We apologise for this error and for the inconvenience caused," it said in a statement.

"We are working to stop this from happening again, and will look at any lessons that can be learned."

To discuss an East Midlands story idea, contact caroline.lowbridge@bbc.co.uk.

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