Senior policeman denies fraud charges

A HIGH ranking Essex police officer “blatantly” fiddled his expenses by claiming for a journey he hadn't made and exaggerating the mileage for two other trips, it has been alleged.

Jane Hunt

A HIGH ranking Essex police officer “blatantly” fiddled his expenses by claiming for a journey he hadn't made and exaggerating the mileage for two other trips, it has been alleged.

Det Ch Insp Jonathan Baldwin, who was on a salary of �48,000, faces three charges of fraud in relation to three expenses claims for a total of �310 made in January and March last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

On the first occasion Baldwin, who moved from Wales to take up a job with Essex police in June 2007, allegedly claimed �80 mileage in January, 2008, for a 142 mile round trip to Windsor for a meeting the previous month.


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Greg Perrins, prosecuting, alleged that on the day Baldwin claimed mileage for going to Windsor a duty book showed that he had in fact been working at Essex Police Headquarters in Chelmsford. “This was an entirely fictitious claim,” he said.

Two months later in March, 2008, Baldwin had claimed mileage for a genuine journey to Windsor but instead of claiming for a round trip of 140 miles he had put in an expenses claim for 440 miles. “The prosecution say anyone with a basic grasp of geography would know Windsor isn't 220 miles away,” said Mr Perrins.

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He said Baldwin had claimed for more than twice the amount he was entitled to. “It was a blatant claim for mileage that wasn't incurred,” said Mr Perrins.

He alleged that the same month Baldwin had submitted a claim for mileage for a genuine trip to Oxford. However, instead of claiming for a round trip of 202 miles he had asked to be reimbursed �110 for 400 miles, which again was almost double the amount he was entitled to, said Mr Perrins.

Baldwin, 42, whose address was given as care of Essex Police, has denied three offences of fraud.

Mr Perrins said that when Baldwin took up the post of acting Det Ch Insp in July, 2007, he was made aware of the need for “total integrity” as the previous holder of his post had been the subject of an internal investigation.

He said that Baldwin's expense claims were counter-signed by a senior officer who had trusted him implicitly and hadn't made any great inquiry into what he was claiming for.

When Baldwin was questioned about the claims he said the first one was an honest mistake and probably referred to a journey he had made on another date. He couldn't really account for the exaggerated mileage in the second claim but said he could have thought he was travelling from Wales where he used to work.

He accepted the third claim was exaggerated and said it was made in error. “He had no reasonable explanation for it other than he had put the wrong numbers down,” said Mr Perrins.

The trial continues today (Tues).

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