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Copland School: Disgraced ex-headteacher Alan Davies must pay £1.4m as his last chance to appeal is refused

PUBLISHED: 18:46 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 19:03 19 February 2019

Former headteacher of the Copland School, Sir Alan Davies, outside Southwark Crown Court in London in 2013. Picture: PA Images.Ryan Hooper

Former headteacher of the Copland School, Sir Alan Davies, outside Southwark Crown Court in London in 2013. Picture: PA Images.Ryan Hooper

PA Archive/PA Images

The disgraced former headteacher of Copland School in Wembley will finally have to repay £1.4m to Brent Council after the Court of Appeal lifted a stay of execution regarding the money.

Brent took Davies and five of his ex-colleagues to the High Court to recover £2.7m in unlawful bonus payments he had made.

In August, Mr Justice Zacaroli ruled in favour of Brent Council against Davies and two ex-governors, and in October 2018, the court ruled Davies would have to pay £1,395,839, with Dr Indravadan Patel and Mr Martin Day ordered to pay £552,729 between them.

The Court of Appeal decision made by Lord Justice Lewison means these fines will now, nine years after Davies was suspended as headteacher, be paid.

Davies was found guilty of six counts of false accounting in 2014 and handed a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He pleaded guilty to the charges, which related to his creation of false paper trails for bonus payments – including to himself.

The bonus payments were worth £2.7m. One payment saw the disgraced headteacher award himself £400,000.

But, at the same trial, Davies and five others – Dr Patel, Mr Day, former deputy head Dr Richard Evans, the school’s former bursar Columbus Udokoro and ex-HR manager Michelle McKenzie – were all acquitted of conspiracy to defraud Brent Council.

According to Justice Zacaroli’s judgment, Davies received £950,000 from a total of the £2.707,391 that was overpaid.

The judge also ordered Ms McKenzie to pay £9,374. He ruled against Mr Udokoro and Dr Evans on one count of “knowing receipt” of the unlawful bonuses, but because the judge ruled in their favour on two further counts, and required Brent to pay 25 per cent of their legal fees, whether they will have to pay anything back is unknown.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council, said: “I’m pleased that the Court of Appeal has refused Alan Davies the chance to appeal the High Court ruling that he received vast sums in unlawful bonuses and must pay back nearly £1.4m.

“Davies fiddled the system to pay himself outrageous bonuses, including £400,000 in one year.

“He now needs to pay back every penny he stole from the education of local schoolchildren and I am grateful to everyone who helped bring this disgraced former headteacher to justice.”

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