Office boss stole £100k

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A DISGRACED office manager from Wigan stole more than £100,000 from Greater Manchester Police while working at a police station.

Craig Rothwell, of Whitley, got away with his crimes for four years while working as a civilian at Bootle Street in Manchester.

He was even promoted while secretly pocketing tens of thousands of pounds a year in stolen cash.

Manchester Crown Court heard how the 27-year-old was a clerk at GMP’s International Visitors Registration Unit when the thefts began.

Instead of banking each £34 fee paid by tens of thousands of police registration applicants - including overseas students, migrant workers and academics - Rothwell kept it for himself.

The defendant, who tried to conceal the frauds by claiming that he had banked the money correctly without specifying how much, was even promoted to office supervisor.

Rothwell, of Havenwood Road, Whitley, Wigan, pleaded guilty to five charges of theft from the Greater Manchester Police Authority before Judge Michael Henshell.

The court heard that the final figures have yet to be agreed, but the prosecution believe the total is more than £100,000.

It is understood that in the tax year beginning April 2009 alone he stole nearly £40,000.

The disgraced police worker, who was supported in court by his mother and father, will return for sentence at the end of the month.

His case was adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

In cases of theft involving a breach of trust and sums of more than £100,000, offenders typically expect to be jailed for up to four years.

The registration of international visitors is normally a regular source of income for GMP, which is now facing significant budget cuts.

GMP is already battling to save £134m by 2015, and over the next four years it is expected that 3,000 civilian and officer posts will be slashed as a result.

The force is the second largest in the country behind the Met and regularly received thousands of applicants.