Pleasley postmaster ordered to repay £23,000 or face prison

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A man who tried to cover up a missing sum of over £23,000 while he was a postmaster in Pleasley has been ordered to repay the whole amount.

John Dickson (55), has been told he faces a 12 months prison sentence if he fails to pay.

Nottingham Crown Court heard it was agreed he had benefited to a total of £23,877 and that he had assets in that sum.

His barrister Martin Hurst said his client’s property had been on the market for some months now.

In July, Dickson, of Chesterfield Road North, was sentenced to eight months prison suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work after admitting fraudulent behaviour by abuse of his position.

Dickson, a former Rolls Royce worker and man of previous good character, had been postmaster at Pleasley for two and a half years.

An audit last year revealed the shortfall. Dickson said he did not know where the money had gone.

It had started with small deficits of £200-300 and grown. He had tried to clear the losses with money from his pension.

Mr Hunt said Post Office Ltd. conducted its accounts through the Horizon computer system which had caused a lot of postmasters to be in the same position.

MPs had urged inquiries to be made.

Dickson was given six months to pay, which could not be extended beyond a year.