Former RHS operations manager in dock over theft scam

A former operations head at the RHS masterminded a 10-year scam to steal almost £700,000 from the charity, a court heard on 28 January.

Stuart Medhurst, 54, siphoned off the funds to two accomplices while working at the RHS, the prosecution said. He is also accused of using his position at the RHS to buy £43,000 worth of goods for himself between 2007 and 2014. Medhurst appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court accused of two counts of conspiracy to steal and a charge of fraud by abuse of position.

He was in the dock alongside Shaheen Kadri, 43, of Camden, north London, and Elaine Summers, 53, of Notting Hill, west London, who are both charged with one count of conspiracy to steal.

It is alleged Kadri received £317,110 from Medhurst between January 2004 and January last year, and Summers took £360,859 over the same period.

Richard Doolan, prosecuting, said: "They are all charged with a conspiracy which relates to around £700,000 paid out of the RHS bank account."

He added: "Around £300,000 was paid out to a bank account controlled by Ms Summers and around another £300,000 was paid into an account controlled by Mr Kadri.

"The fraud relates to around £43,000 worth of goods that Mr Medhurst obtained while being a manager employed by the RHS."

All three defendants spoke only to confirm their identities during the hearing.

They were released on unconditional bail ahead of a preliminary hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 11 February. No pleas have yet been entered.

RHS director-general Sue Biggs said in a letter to staff: "Over the past three years we have been conducting in-depth audits across all our work and implementing more robust measures and controls to protect the society.

"Today we're in a much stronger and more robust position to ensure unacceptable activity could not take place within the society. As a charity, any losses to the revenue of the society will be covered by insurance.

"I want to assure you we routinely monitor our work and look at our procedures to safeguard the society."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



Masses of colourful tubular flowers can give these plants a substantial presence in the border, says Miranda Kimberley.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.

Climbing roses

Climbing roses

Walls, trellises, pergolas and even trees can all be brightened up by these beautiful blooms, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Opinion... Shining a light on trading with Europe

Accurate figures are notoriously difficult to get at, but without doubt the UK imports a great deal of its ornamental plant requirement.

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles