Home news Edge Hill University dean and secret lover jailed for £500,000 fraud

Edge Hill University dean and secret lover jailed for £500,000 fraud


A former university dean who employed his secret lover as part of a £500,000 scam has been jailed.Robert Smedley, 52, and Christopher Joynson, 34, both of Frankby Road, West Kirkby, were each jailed for five years at Liverpool Crown Court for fraud.Smedley, who was also pro vice-chancellor of Edge Hill University, spent the cash on home improvements and “a luxury kitchen”, police said.The university said the jail terms showed that “justice has been done”.Smedley, the head of the university’s faculty of education, created a £53,000-a-year role for Joynson but failed to tell his employers about their relationship.During his employment, Joynson invoiced the university for several hours of work that he had not completed, transferring around £200,000 into Smedley’s bank account. Between autumn 2009 and summer 2014, the pair managed to scam Edge Hill out of a total of £513,000.Finance workers at the university became suspicious when an accountant noticed a large consultancy payment being made to the same bank account as a member of staff’s salary.Police said that if proper checks had been carried out on Joynson before he was employed they would have revealed he had received two police cautions for lying on previous job applications.’Abused his position’Det Con David Wainwright, from Lancashire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Smedley was a member of senior management and abused that position for personal gain.”He deceived the university, in particular colleagues he had known for many years and employed Joynson, his lover, in a position that he had simply devised himself.”Joynson invoiced the university for hours and hours of work that he had not undertaken, sharing the money with Smedley. They used the cash towards expensive home improvements including a luxury kitchen,” the officer said.A spokesperson for Edge Hill University said there had been “no impact on our students or the work of the university” and the money had been recovered by its insurers.
Source: BBC Lancashire