Disgraced former business boss Anne Ganley OBE has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for orchestrating a speeding points scam which ‘brought her employees down with her’
A judge said her former staff at A Thompson & Sons ‘complied through fear and pressure’ when she nominated them to accept responsibility when she was regularly caught speeding.
Her son Brent Ganley, 39, and former workshop manager Thomas Barraclough also both got immediate prison terms by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court.
A further eight former employees were given suspended prison sentences after being convicted of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. One further defendant, Wayne Cullen, who was not a members of staff, admitted perverting the course of justice.
Anne Ganley, 59, of The Cedars, Ashbrooke, initially denied the offence, only entering a guilty plea in January this year.
Judge Deborah Sherwin told Ganley: “You have behaved in a thoroughly disgraceful way, and, in doing so you have brought down your employees and your own son, people who would otherwise have been law abiding.”
Barraclough, 66, of Castlereagh Street, Sunderland, admitted the offence was sentenced to six months imprisonment, while Brent Ganley, of Biddick Lane, Fatfield, was convicted after a trial and was given nine months in custody.
The charges related to 30 separate occasions, and all bar one involved speeding offences. The remaining occasion related to contravening a red light.
Ganley accepted that she perpetrated 14 of the offences on the schedule between December 2006 and the early part of 2012.
Barraclough was instructed to nominate staff to take points, the court heard.
Sentencing the 12 defendants, Judge Deborah Sherwin said: “This offence relates to the wrong attribution of motoring offences , mainly speeding and subsequent acceptance of either penalty points or the being sent on driver awareness courses.
“They concerned the drivers and employees of A Thompson & Sons, a large builders’ merchant what has now gone out of business. Anne Ganley was the managing director of this company, with the other main director being her son Brent Ganley. The company itself has since gone into liquidation.
“I’m satisfied the leader and main beneficiary was Anne Ganley. She was in the main assisted by Thomas Barraclough, playing a role in the operation.
“However, I accept it was a difficult position to be in, being an employee of Anne Ganley and this was confirmed by other employees.
“There is for many of the defendants a good degree of mitigation, for those who indicated guilty pleas at the earlier stages and had the added stress of waiting for it to reach this day.”
Turning to Ganley, the judge said: “You have no previous convictions and I will sentence you on the basis that you were concerned in 14 of the 30 occasions.
“You were the main recipient of the course of conduct and I’m entirely satisfied you knew full well what went on within your company.
“You have already been banned from driving on one occasion and it is quite clear would have had to serve another period of disqualification.
It’s clear that you work hard and you are a driven individual, but you have behaved in a thoroughly disgraceful way, and, in doing so you have brought down your employees and your own son, people who would otherwise have been law abiding.
“In your case it’s so serious that only an immediate custodial sentence can be justified.”
Judge Sherwin said to Barraclough: “You are also of previous good character. You were involved on 10 of the occasions. You received no reward for it and you complied through fear and pressure.”
To Brent Ganley, the Judge said: “It is unlikely you would have been involved in this offending had it not been for your mother.”
Nine defendants have been given varying lengths of prison sentences, all suspended for 18 months:
All the others were given suspended sentenced of varying lengths:
Joseph Dobbie, aged 71 from Tudor Grove, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months.
Gavin Hazard, aged 35 from Westheath Avenue, Sunderland, was found guilty after trial and was sentenced to 12 months suspened for18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
Michael Turner, aged 50 from Drumoyne Close, East Herrington, was found guilty after trial and was sentenced to nine months prison suspened 18 months and120 hours of unpaid work.
Ruth Pilmore, aged 62 from Portman Square, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five months suspended for 18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
James Green, aged 63 from Londonderry Tower, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six month suspended 18 months and 80 hours of unpaid work.
Michael Flynn, aged 56 from Londonderry Tower, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months suspended for 18 months and 120 hours of unpaid work.
Kelly Todd, aged 35 from Sea View, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months susp for 18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
David Elliot, aged 38 from Gardiner Square, Sunderland, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
Wayne Cullen, aged 44 from Victoria Street, Hetton, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months and 100 hours of unpaid work.
More to follow.