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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 18:44 GMT
'Donnygate' jail sentences upheld
The 160,000 farmhouse
Birks received a 160,000 farmhouse from Hughes
Jail terms imposed on a councillor and businessman for their roles in the "Donnygate" scandal have been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Peter Birks, Doncaster Council's former planning chairman, received a four-year term in March last year after he was convicted of corruptly receiving a benefit.

Alan Hughes, a property developer who bribed Birks in order to smooth the way for a crucial planning application, was jailed for five years after he was convicted of corruptly making payments to another.

Both men argued their sentences were "manifestly excessive", but had their appeals dismissed on Monday by Mr Justice Andrew Smith.

Correct sentence

A planning application by Hughes to develop land at Poppyfields in Branton had been rejected and he was facing mounting debts when he approached Birks and another council member in 1992.

Birks was given a 160,000 farmhouse to secure his assistance, and a later planning application was approved a few months later.

Hughes, 64, of Bawtry Road, Doncaster, and Birks, 59, of Stockbridge Lane, Doncaster, had their appeals dismissed by Mr Justice Andrew Smith, sitting with Lord Justice Rose and Mr Justice Leveson.

Mr Justice Smith said the sentencing judge had been correct to impose a deterrent sentence.

He added: "We do not think there are good grounds for considering that the sentences were excessive."

Developer bribed councillors
12 Mar 02 |  England

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