CAGED: Preston man jailed for raping schoolgirl

Preston man Peter Harvey has been jailed for 20 years for raping a schoolgirl. His wife Barbara Ann Muncey-Harvey says she knew nothing about the case until he was arrested as they went on honeymoon.

To friends and neighbours, he was a deeply spiritual man, putting his healing hands on others and offering to bless people’s homes.

But Peter Harvey was carrying a sinister secret.
Harvey, 58, originally from Coventry, had raped and abused a schoolgirl over an eight-year period, before moving north to Preston to begin a new life with his new wife.

His past caught up with him when police in the West Midlands launched a probe.

Today Harvey’s wife, Barbara Ann Muncey-Harvey, 66, spoke of her torment as she recalled how the retired HGV driver was stopped by police at the airport as they went to go on their honeymoon in 2014 and later arrested.

A lot of people won’t talk to me. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. No-one comes to see me. I feel shunned.
Barbara Ann Muncey-Harvey

The grandmother, who is partially sighted, said: “I barely go out since this has happened. I don’t know what’s going on.

“A lot of people won’t talk to me. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. No-one comes to see me. I feel shunned.

“I don’t believe any of it. He rings me for two minutes each night from prison.”

The former Ribbleton Hall High School pupil met Harvey through his brother and mutual friends in 2008 when they used to come up from Coventry for weekends with friends.

The pair trained to do reiki healing together and she says they have held healing sessions at their home for friends

She says: “I inspired him to become a born again Christian. He’s been my rock.”

They married at a Preston Methodist church in September 2013 and planned a late honeymoon cruise in the January.

She said: “They picked him up at the airport and I had to travel on my own, which is difficult as I am disabled. He flew out the next day.

“He’s still trying to get his head round it.

“I’m sure I’m being accused by people of hiding away, but I just can’t get out. I knew nothing about these allegations and I don’t believe them.”

But after a 10-day trial, jurors at Warwick Crown Court did believe them. Harvey was found guilty of 10 charges – four rapes, three indecent assaults, two sexual assaults and inciting a child to commit sexual activity.

A judge jailed him for a total of 20 years with an extended licence.

Today Harvey’s neighbour Terence Pollard, of Coopers Fold, said: “He used to come in our house. We live on a cul de sac of mostly elderly women. He’d been in everyone’s houses being all friendly. He told me he had been in the army.

“He said, ‘Me and my wife are born again Christians. I can bless this house if you like, it’s a happy home.’

“I used to go to school with his wife. We were all horrified when we found out what had happened.

“Worse still, his home is next to a community office that runs a hub for teenagers. I saw the police arrive. They were loading up his computer equipment into a van.

“He got arrested and they took him away under a blanket.”

Harvey was netted by West Midlands Police’s new Historical Sex Offences Team. His was among almost 300 cases dealt with in its first year − and secured justice for some survivors who suffered abuse up to 50 years ago.

A police spokesman said: “We have a successful track record of securing justice even in cases where abuse has taken place decades earlier.

“West Midlands Police has a dedicated Historic Abuse Team featuring officers who are specially trained to secure evidence and support abuse survivors through the police and courts process.

“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of abuse to get in touch.”

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Lancashire doctor found guilty of £24k NHS fraud

A hospital doctor has pleaded guilty to defrauding the NHS of nearly £24,000.

John Coffey, of Goose Lane, Chipping, worked as a consultant radiologist at the Royal Preston Hospital, responsible for reviewing and reporting on a variety of medical scans. He was not contracted to study plain film scans from standard x-rays as part of his job plan. But he agreed to do so at a rate of £4 per film, outside his working hours (after 5pm) to help his department to clear a ‘waiting list’ backlog.

“When we identified an anomaly in the financial claims made by Mr Coffey our counter-fraud specialists immediately undertook a thorough investigation, and subsequently referred the matter to the police”

But the already highly-paid 53-year-old cooked up an audacious plan for an unearned, unapproved bonus at the taxpayers’ expense. He was eventually caught out after the hospital noticed an anomaly in his financial claims.
Sue Frith, managing director of NHS Protect, said: “John Coffey abused his position of trust as a Consultant Radiologist to defraud the NHS of nearly £24,000. That much could have paid a nurse for a year.”

Previously, when asked by management, Coffey had said he was far too busy and without any capacity for any additional duties.

However, once extra money was made available for the extra work, he completed most of it within his normal working hours.

The scam involved him lining up almost-completed reports after working on them earlier in the day and waiting until 5pm to re-enter the clinical IT system and hit the “submit” button.

When later challenged, he tried to argue he had technically completed the work after office hours.

In one day in March 2014, between 11.20am and 5pm, Coffey reviewed and reported on 100 plain film x-rays during a session when he was supposed to be doing his normal job plan work, resulting in a £400 loss to the NHS.

The fraud investigation showed this was not a one-off. Coffey was routinely and consistently undertaking ‘after hours’ waiting list work during NHS contracted hours.

In just over a year between autumn 2013 and autumn 2014, Coffey’s series of frauds bumped up his earnings by £23,916.

This breaks down to £4 each for 5,979 plain film reports he claimed for as ‘waiting list’ work.

When interviewed under caution, the consultant strenuously denied having been dishonest – but was unable to offer a good reason for entering each x-ray patient’s record once before, and once after, 5pm.

Coffey stated that although he had completed the work during the day, as he hadn’t pressed the submit button until after 5pm, it was not his fault if he was “efficient”.

Karen Swindley, workforce and education director of Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take extremely seriously our responsibilities to ensure public money is spent wisely and in accordance with the law and with our policies.

“Our robust systems and practices enable us to identify and immediately investigate any potential fraudulent activity within our organisation.

“When we identified an anomaly in the financial claims made by Mr Coffey our counter-fraud specialists immediately undertook a thorough investigation, and subsequently referred the matter to the police.

“Whilst this was ongoing Mr Coffey resigned from his position and we can confirm he no longer works at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.”

Ms Frith added: “NHS Protect encourages anybody with a suspicion that fraud against the NHS could be taking place to report their concern. Health workers and the public can do so via the established channels of their Local Counter Fraud Specialist, or via our national Fraud and Corruption Reporting Line. Whether by telephone or online, these reports can be made anonymously.”

Coffey was investigated by Local Counter Fraud Specialists Claire Smallman and Simon Regan, with support from the national level counter-fraud body, NHS Protect.

He pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court and is due to be sentenced at the same court on March 3.

The defrauded amount has been recovered in full.

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South Ribble thefts, man jailed

A man has been sentenced to four months in jail after pleading guilty to seven counts of theft, say police.

John Molyneux, 34, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Preston Magistrates Court on 11 January following the crimes which were committed between November and December 2016.

Molyneux was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.

The thefts were carried out at a number of South Ribble businesses.

 A police spokesperson said: “We are committed to tackling business crime in South Ribble and we continue to work with local businesses to reduce crime.

“If you know somebody who is committing crime in South Ribble let us know. You can all CrimeStoppers, free and in confidence, on 0800 555 111.”

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