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Rogue planner sent down

A rogue planning officer from Enfield Council who accepted bribes to pay for his wife's plastic surgery has been jailed for 18 months.

Andrew Bigby was convicted of misconduct offences at Southwark Crown Court after bagging £60,000 worth of bungs to push through controversial planning applications and hand out false documents.

The 41-year old from Hertfordshire, described as a 'rotten apple' by the council, also used the authority's computer system to change key records.

Bigby's wife, Elisabeth, 36, a fellow Enfield Council employee, was given an eight-month jail term - suspended for two years - for helping her husband hide the money.

During the three year period, the Bigbys spent the backhanders on a lavish lifestyle, buying three cars, a new kitchen and a three-week holiday for their friends in Florida, the court heard.

A police raid on their home uncovered a cupboard full of ripped up planning correspondence and £3,000 in cash.

John Pryor, Enfield's director of environment, said: 'I am pleased Bigby has received a custodial sentence.

'We expect the highest standards of probity at Enfield council and when one rotten apple lets his standards slip the reputation of hard-working officers is tainted.'

by Richard Waite

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