Knight urges tougher sentence for charity fraudsters

Julian Knight MP has written to the Attorney General to urge him to review the sentence handed down to Simon Price, the former Chief Executive of Birmingham Dogs Home in Solihull, and his ex-partner Alayna Price.

On Friday 22nd December, Price was found guilty on ten counts of fraud after embezzling almost £1 million pounds from the charity over a four-year period.

However despite the size of the sum, and a reported attempt to evade justice by fleeing to Spain, he has been sentenced to only five years in prison. Alayna, who admitted to five counts of the same charge, received only a two-year suspended sentence.

Citing both the scale and sustained nature of the crime and the future harm it may have done to a worthy charity by undermining public confidence, Julian has called for the case to be reviewed under the Government’s Unduly Lenient Sentences scheme, which allows the Attorney General to take action if a sentence fails to properly reflect public concern about a case.

Last month Julian spoke in a special Westminster debate about the scheme, and specifically warned that the courts were struggling to hand down appropriate sentences for fraud cases.

Commenting on his letter to the Attorney General, Julian Knight said:

“Simon and Alayna Price abused their positions to defraud not only a worthy cause, but everybody who donated to it in good faith. In doing so they may have done long-term damage to an important local charity.

“Fraud often has an enormous human cost which can get overlooked by focusing solely on the money involved. The Unduly Lenient Sentences scheme offers the Government a valuable opportunity to step in where the courts have failed to properly punish fraudsters such as the Prices, and I hope that the Attorney General will seize this opportunity to set a clear example of how such cases should be treated.”

Julian’s speech on the Unduly Lenient Sentences scheme can be found here.