Melton men among six sentenced for corruption and money laundering offences connected to Royal Household contracts

Court news
Court news

Six people involved in corruption and money laundering offences with a former senior member of staff at Buckingham Palace – including two Melton men – have been sentenced.

Five men and one woman were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, London, today (Wednesday) after two trials, held in June, July and August this year.

This resulted in four people being convicted of offences with another two having pleaded guilty at earlier hearings.

Those sentenced are:

* Ronald Harper, 64, of Churchgate, Glemsford, Suffolk, who was found guilty of conspiracy to receive corrupt payments from principals of Melton Power Services and from principals of BSI Nordale Ltd. He has been sentenced to five years imprisonment.

* Christopher Murphy, 56, of Purcell Road, Witham, Essex, director of BSI Nordale Ltd. He was found guilty of conspiracy to make corrupt payments to Ron Harper and has been sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.

* Aseai Zlaoui, 41, of Baker Way, Witham, Essex, director of BSI Nordale Ltd. She was found guilty of conspiracy to make corrupt payments to Ron Harper. She has been sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

* Alan Rollinson, 67, of Hunts Hill, Sudbury, Suffolk, who was found guilty of money-laundering, in respect of £20,000 received from BSI Nordale Ltd. He has been sentenced to 12 months, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

* Stephen Thompson, 62, of Ross Close, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. The former director of Melton Power Services pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide corrupt payments to Ronald Harper between 2006 and 2011. He has been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.

* Glyn Orridge, 67, of Tamar Road, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by abuse of position by Stephen Thompson. This related to inflated invoices submitted to Melton Power Services to fund bribes paid to Ron Harper. He was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service.

Investigations by Leicestershire Police’s Economic Crime Unit began in January 2012 following a call from the senior management of a local company, Melton Power Services Ltd, who had identified some financial irregularities.

Officers looked back to financial activities from 2006 and it revealed the directors of two companies – BSI Nordale and Melton Power Services – paid Harper at least £85,000 in the period when they were awarded large contracts for mechanical installation and maintenance work at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and St James’s Palace.

Ronald Harper was employed by the Royal Household from 1994 to 2013. From 2003 onwards he held the position of deputy property manager and was responsible for managing mechanical and electrical contracts at Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and St James’ Palace.

During this time he was paid cash by others in return for contracts at the royal palaces. Harper also used a family member to receive some of the payments.