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Bexleyheath man Peter Nicholson stripped of OBE after stealing nearly £300,000

PUBLISHED: 12:15 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:15 01 March 2013

Kerry Butler, clapping, and Peter Nicholson blowing out candles at a mutual event

Kerry Butler, clapping, and Peter Nicholson blowing out candles at a mutual event

Archant

A man employed by a council to rehabilitate criminal youths was stripped of his OBE for stealing nearly £300,000 of taxpayers' money.

Peter Nicholson, 58, from Bexleyheath, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2005 for his work as head of Newham Council’s Youth Offending Team but the Cabinet Office withdrew the honour on Tuesday.

Their honours forfeiture committee can revoke awards if the recipient has been jailed for more than three months or expelled from a professional body.

Nicholson was found guilty of five counts of conspiracy to defraud and he was sentenced to five years in prison after an eight-week trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court in July last year.

He fronted a gang of fraudsters who helped him to create three non-existent council employees in order to syphon off the wages.

He stole a total of £281,771.90 while he was the youth offending boss between May 2000 and August 2007, spending the cash on holidays to Canada.

Last month, Kerry Butler, 47, also of Bexleyheath, was sentenced to two years in prison at Snaresbrook Crown Court after she used her recruitment agency to charge fake temporary agency staff wages to the council.

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