A PAIR of former Mansfield union leaders stole almost £150,000 from a charity for sick and elderly miners, a court was told.
Former president of the Union of Democratic Mineworkers (UDM) Neil Greatrex and Mick Stevens, the union’s ex-general secretary, are accused of having work done on their own homes instead of at a residential and nursing home set up for retired pit workers.
Both men deny 14 counts of theft between June 2000 and May 2006 and their trial got under way at Nottingham Crown Court on Monday.
Prosecutor Martin Hurst said that due to their positions within the union they were also two of three trustees of the Nottinghamshire Miners’ Home Charity.
The court was told the charity owned a care home in Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire, which provided residential and nursing care for miners.
Greatrex (60), of Shepherds Lane, Sutton, and Stevens (60), of Maylodge Drive, Rufford Park, Newark, were also directors of Pheonix Nursing and Residential Home Ltd, a company set up as a trading subsidiary of the charity.
“They had absolute control of the whole of the charity, of everything it did and of all of its money,” said Mr Hurst.
It is alleged that Greatrex and Stevens used the bank accounts of both the Nottinghamshire Miners’ Home Charity and Pheonix Nursing and Residential Home Ltd to pay for work done on their own homes.
“They engaged builders to do work at their own house and when the traders came to submit the invoices, they would be told to send them to the charity and it would be paid using a cheque,” Mr Hurst told the jury.
The court was told that various works had been completed on the men’s homes, starting in 2000 when Greatrex was living at Chestnut Avenue, Teversal, and Stevens at Cavendish Avenue, Edwinstowe.
Mr Hurst told the court that Greatrex asked Stephen Giles of SPG Construction to quote for some work at his home and the home of Stevens, including repaving, which totalled £16,136.28.
“Greatrex had told him to invoice the sum to the charity. Greatrex explained he was entitled to have work done at his house and the charity would pay for it,” said Mr Hurst.
“He asked for a single invoice to cover both homes.”
But instead of detailing the actual work done on the defendants’ homes, the invoice was for an extension to a bathroom and treatment room at the Chapel St Leonards home, on the instruction of Greatrex. “Mr Giles has never been to the nursing home,” added Mr Hurst.
The court was told the pair later engaged John Minckley and Sons to do a variety of work for them including building a koi carp pond cover for Stevens and the removal of 25 trees from Greatrex’s home.
The trial continues.