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Phoney 'architect' sentenced

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A man claiming to be an architect has been ordered to serve 200 hours of unpaid community work for forging a planning consent.

Richard Lindsay, who lost his professional accreditation in 1998, pleaded guilty at Woking Magistrates Court to faking documents giving the go-ahead for a residential development in the Maybury Road area of the town.

According to the Woking News and Mail, the case centred on an application submitted to Woking's planning department in October 2004 - which was rejected in January 2005.

An amended application was subsequently withdrawn and the court heard that Lindsay, who heads Richard Lindsay Design in his home town of Workington, Cumbria, decided to falsify consent for the apartment scheme 'in a moment of madness'.

Defence solicitor Chris McGlinchy told the magistrates Lindsay had found himself in a 'highly pressured situation'.

He said: 'Falsifying the documents was a means for giving himself breathing space and was not for financial gain.

'He buried his head in the sand and as a result found himself talking to police.'

It was also revealed in court that the 59-year-old 'designer' had not said anything about the case to his wife because he feared the news would ruin his marriage.

McGlinchy said: 'He has not told his wife about these proceedings because he is ashamed and embarrassed.

'He's very concerned about the prospect of going to prison and if he does obviously she will have to be told.'

Lindsay, who was also ordered to pay £108 costs, had previously been found guilty of disgraceful professional misconduct after Copeland Borough Council served a dangerous structure notice on a loft conversion he had designed on a property in Gosforth, near Newcastle.

by Richard Waite

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