Head teacher and deputy accused of stealing from special school cleared after prosecutors drop case - The Leamington Observer

Head teacher and deputy accused of stealing from special school cleared after prosecutors drop case

Leamington Editorial 8th Jul, 2018   0

TWO men accused of stealing £250,000 from a special school, where one of them was the head and the other his deputy, have been cleared after prosecutors dropped the case against them.

Michael Turner and Simon Constantinou had been charged with conspiring to commit theft by allegedly stealing £217,852 from Warwickshire County Council between 2006 and 2015.

It was claimed they stole the money by allegedly abusing their positions while Mr Turner was head teacher at River House special school in Henley and Mr Constantiou was deputy head.

Mr Turner, 64, of Percy Court, Stratford, who also faced a separate charge of stealing £36,000, and Mr Constantinou, 67, of Beresford Drive, Leicester, entered not guilty pleas as long ago as July last year.

They had been due to stand trial at Warwick Crown Court last month, but it was delayed after prosecutor Graeme Russell said that documents had come to light which needed to be considered, and which could help the defence.

At the resumed hearing Mr Russell said it had been decided to offer no evidence against Mr Turner and Mr Constantinou.

Mr Russell explained that after a review he thought there was “no longer any tenable prospect of persuading a jury there was criminal conduct” and offered no evidence on the charges.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told Mr Turner and Mr Constantinou he was therefore entering not guilty verdicts in the case.

After doing so, he commented: “It is plain to me that somewhere there has been a serious failure of process.

“It may be with the police, and it may be with the Crown Prosecution Service… but somewhere there has been a failure.”

He said he wanted ‘a full written explanation’ about what had happened in the case, including a full chronology of the proceedings and a full explanation of why a charging decision was made.”


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