Bribes wife told to pay back cash

PUBLISHED: 11:41 27 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:34 06 May 2010

A WOMAN who encouraged her planning officer husband to take backhanders so she could pay for breast implants has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds or face jail. Elisabeth Bigby, 36, also bought a new kitchen and had the use of three cars thanks

A WOMAN who encouraged her planning officer husband to take backhanders so she could pay for breast implants has been ordered to pay back thousands of pounds or face jail.

Elisabeth Bigby, 36, also bought a new kitchen and had the use of three cars thanks to her husband's corruption.

Andrew Bigby, 41, is currently behind bars after admitting accepting tens of thousands of pounds in bribes to push through planning permission on more than a dozen properties.

The greedy official changed planning records and allowed controversial extensions for almost three years.

Bigby, of California, Baldock, was one of the most senior planning officers at the London Borough of Enfield and pocketed a total of £58,240.

He and his wife stashed the cash at their £350,000 home, Southwark Crown Court heard this week.

Mrs Bigby, who was given a given a suspended prison sentence last March, was ordered to hand over £15,143 within nine months or face nine months in jail.

Her husband stands to lose considerably more when he faces similar proceedings on September 29.

The couple, who were already earning more than £50,000 a year between them, paid off their mortgage with the money.

Bigby provided developers with forged documents and got junior members of staff to help him produce them.

In a raid on the couple's home, police discovered scores of incriminating documents, £3,000 in cash and a cupboard full of torn up planning letters.

Andrew Bigby was jailed for 18 months after admitting two counts of misconduct in a public office and two of concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct between January 1, 2001 and September 2, 2003.

His wife, who admitted laundering the proceeds of her husband's crime, was sentenced to eight months suspended for two years.


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