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GP practice manager who stole £155K from surgery ordered to pay compensation

4 August 2023

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A former GP practice manager who stole more than £155,000 from a practice while having an affair with a doctor has been ordered to pay £41,000 in compensation.

Jacqueline Rodger (pictured), 56, had a secret relationship with Dr Iain Hathorn while employed as practice manager at the Greenhills Medical Practice in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire.

The pair had been having regular trysts but the affair ended when Rodger got married.

Their relationship was revealed after an investigation was launched into cash problems at the practice.

Rodger, of Kilmarnock, admitted embezzling £155,012.71 between April 2014 and February 2018 and was jailed for 18 months last year.

She was released on a tag from HMP Edinburgh in March after serving less than a third of her sentence.

Rodger appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and was ordered to hand over £41,157.50 as part of a confiscation order.

The court heard the money had come from the sale of a house and will be handed over to her old bosses.

Rodger, who claimed to have taken the money due to stress, told Hathorn by text message: ‘Iain, it’s Jacqueline. It was me that did it. I’m so sorry, so ashamed. You’re all such lovely people.’

A message sent to another doctor at the surgery said: ‘I am so sorry and ashamed of what I have done. You were all so good to me, I deserve everything that’s coming my way.’

She later claimed she had been forced into the relationship however a police investigation dismissed her allegations.

The investigation showed Rodger, who had worked at the centre since 2008, had been moving money to her own account disguised as bogus payments to locum doctors and office supply firms.

After the money was stolen the medical centre was forced to close.

Sheriff Linda Nicolson said: ‘I will make an order directing the entirety of the compensation has to be paid out of the confiscation order I have granted.’

Rodger had originally been accused of pocketing £224,375.39 but prosecutors accepted her guilty plea to the lesser amount.

Kenny Donnelly, deputy Crown agent, Specialist Casework, said: ‘This woman’s crimes caused significant disruption to a community’s GP services.

‘This compensation order should serve as a warning to anyone involved in financial crime of any kind that we will not stop at prosecution.

‘Even after a conviction is secured, COPFS [the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service] will continue to use Proceeds of Crime legislation to ensure that funds obtained through embezzlement are confiscated and compensation awarded where appropriate to the victims of such crimes.’

Picture credit: Pressteam Scotland