Ex-UDM leader jailed for theft

A former leader of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers has been jailed for four years for stealing almost £150,000 from a Nottinghamshire charity which cared for elderly miners.


Neil Greatrex, 61, showed no obvious emotion as Judge John Wait described the thefts from the Nottinghamshire Miners Home charity as breaches of the highest degree of trust.

Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Wait told Greatrex - the UDM's president between 1987 and 2009 - that he was guilty of "calculated and sophisticated" greed.

Greatrex, from Stanley, near Teversal, Nottinghamshire, was convicted of 14 counts of theft by a jury at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this month.

Jurors heard that the former £110,000-a-year head of the UDM had created false invoices before stealing £148,628 from charity funds to pay for improvement work on his own property and that of UDM general secretary Mick Stevens.

Judge Wait, who heard that Greatrex was earning a salary of £67,000 as long ago as 1987, told the disgraced union official: "You saw an opportunity to make personal profit at the expense of those less fortunate than yourself whose interest you had agreed as trustee to protect.

"Over the years you wanted works done at your own home and the home of your co-director - outside paving, a new kitchen, new windows and doors, many supplies of building materials. Works and materials that with the salary you were paid you could have afforded. This was calculated and dishonest greed."

It also emerged during the sentencing hearing that Greatrex received a contribution towards the cost of his mortgage from the Mansfield-based UDM, which he helped to found in 1985.

Although Judge Wait accepted that Greatrex did not directly benefit from all of the monies stolen, he ruled that there was no mitigation for the offences.

Stevens, 60, was cleared of all 14 counts of theft at the earlier trial, which heard that the union officials were both trustees of the Nottinghamshire Miners Home charity.


Sourced from Lancashire Evening Post, 28th April 2012.