Ashfield District Council agency worker could face jail after CV lie

AN agency worker who gained work at Ashfield District Council after failing to reveal his criminal convictions could be sent back to jail.

Waheed Rabbani (40) admitted a charge of fraud by false representation at a hearing at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Rabbani, of Outfield, in Bretton, Peterborough, was hired by Ashfield District 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.

He 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 last year he was 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 office and Rabbani was arrested.

Enquiries were carried out and it was discovered that although he had previously been a member of the two professional bodies, his membership had lapsed.

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

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

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

After being released from prison, Mr Perry said that Rabbani was ‘fairly desperate’ and did not know how to rebuild his life.

Concerning the two professional institutes, Mr Perry said that Rabbani had been a member of both and created a ‘false impression’ that he was still a member because it 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 are not severe enough to deal with the case, due to the aggravating feature of the offence happening so soon after he had been released from prison.

He was released on unconditional bail.