Council worker failed to tell of prison term

AN AGENCY worker secured a job at Ashfield District Council after failing to reveal his previous criminal convictions.

Now Waheed Rabbani (40) could be sent back to prison after admitting a charge of fraud by false representation when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court.

Rabbani, of Outfield, Bretton, Peterborough, was hired by the council through an employment agency to work in the housing department at a time when the department was short-staffed.

His CV and application form did not disclose any previous convictions and stated that he was a member of two professional bodies — the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Institute of Leadership and Management.

Rabbani was considered to be suitable for one of the vacant roles and started work at the council’s Kirkby offices.

It then came to light that he had been convicted and sentenced to an 18-month prison term for theft and deception offences relating to when he held a similar position at another council.

Police were called to the Ashfield Council headquarters in Kirkby where Rabbani was arrested.

The court heard inquiries discovered that although he had previously been a member of the two professional bodies, his membership had lapsed.

In mitigation, solicitor Chris Perry (defending) told the court that Rabbani had fully co-operated during the investigation.

He said the background to Rabbani’s conviction was that he had previously held a good job and had a home and family. But he then encountered domestic problems that led to a difficult divorce.

Every part of his life was affected and this had led to him committing the offences for which he had been jailed.

Mr Perry said that after leaving prison, Rabbani was “fairly desperate” and did not know how to rebuild his life.

Concerning the two professional institutes, Mr Perry said Rabbani had been a member of both and had created a “false impression” that he was still a member because the details of membership still featured on his CV.

Rabbani had said that he could not recall being asked about previous convictions.

“He has found it extremely difficult to rebuild, if not nigh on impossible,” said Mr Perry.

Magistrates told Rabbani that the case was being adjourned for sentencing at Nottingham Crown Court because their sentencing powers were not severe enough to deal with the case.

They said this was because of the aggravating feature of the offence happening so soon after he had been released from prison.

Rabbani was released on unconditional bail.