After admitting guilt of the charge she faced in court, Paula Vasco-Knight was spared jail by the recorder. She then collapsed in court and then required the paramedics from the same NHS she had defrauded ti come to her aid. Some might call this ironic, whilst others may be surprised at the leniency at teh suspended sentence she received for a ruse that saw taxpayers’ money pocketed by her husband Stephen.
Paula Vasco-Knight, the former leader of NHS equalities who admitted to fraudulently paying £11,000 in health service funds to her husband collapsed in court yesterday as she was spared jail.
Formerly championed as one of the health service’s greatest success stories – she rose from the rank of nurse to become the first black executive in the NHS’s history in 2008 – the 53-year-old’s fall from grace came as she was helped out of court by a team of paramedics.
The drama unfolded as the Vasco-Knights were both spared jail for a scam which siphoned off £11,072 in funds intended for in-house leadership development.
Awarded a bursary in 2012 as part of her role as the NHS head of equalities and diversity, Mrs Vasco-Knight, who also ran South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, commissioned her husband to produce a leadership document entitled Transform the following year.
However, her husband Stephen never completed the document, but still invoiced the trust for payment, which Mrs Vasco-Knight later authorised.
Standing trial yesterday, Exeter Crown Court heard how the document was later exposed as “nothing more than a notepad”, with many pages of the 200-page booklet either left blank or filled with material copied from an earlier text published in 2014. Via telegraph.co.uk