BREAKING NEWS: Seventh person arrested in Copland Community School fraud probe

Detectives quizzing 56-year-old man on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud

COPS investigating alleged bonus payments of up to �1.6million among senior staff at a secondary school have made a seventh arrest this morning.

A 56-year-old man has been taken in for questioning in relation to the claims of misappropriation of funds at Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, Wembley.

The arrest comes a day after a 71-year-old man, who is believed to be Dr IP Patel, the school’s former chair of governors, was quizzed on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the payments.

He was later bailed to return to a police station in September.


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Last month, detectives arrested Sir Alan Davies, 64, the school’s former headmaster, and 53-year-old Dr Richards Evans, ex-deputy headmaster, on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

Dr Evans’s 50-year-old wife Lesley who also worked at the school was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud and theft.

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All three were also later bailed to return to a police station in September.

A week later, a man and woman, both aged 51, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

The pair, believed to be Columbus Odokoro, former school bursar, and Michelle Bishop, the school’s ex- human resources manager, were also bailed to return to a police station in September.

In 2009, Sir Alan, Dr Evans, Mr Odokoro and Ms Bishop, were all suspended from their posts by Brent Council after Hank Roberts, a geography teacher at the school, blew the whistle on the payments by handing over a compelling dossier to Labour MP Ed Balls, the then Schools Secretary.

Dr IP Patel had vehemently defended the payments saying Sir Alan had carried out ‘above and beyond’ what would be the normal duties of any head.

The latest arrestee is being questioned on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud at a police station in north west London.

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