A DISGRACED former police chief has been handed a suspended sentence after admitting to five counts of fraud.

Robert James Kirman, 49, had enjoyed a unblemished 23 year career with North Wales police, rising to the rank of Superintendent, before his fall from grace began in 2017.

Mold Crown Court heard how Kirman had drunkenly assaulted a taxi driver in August 2017, after mistakenly believing both he and his wife were being kidnapped. Kirman, of St Mellion Crescent in Wrexham, was fined for the assault on Sardesh Hassan, but the incident cost him much more and he was forced to resign from his role with the force.

The five counts of fraud all related to an Individual Voluntary Order (IVA) Kirman had taken out in 2012, as a way to manage his financial difficulties, which at the time saw him owing more than £50,000 to a number of creditors. What Kirman hadn't disclosed to the administrator of the IVA was that at the time, he was also the sole director of a trading company.

Owen Edwards, prosecuting, told the court how the ex-policeman had been in significant debt since early 2010, which he himself had put down to an "expensive divorce" but Mr Edwards went on to say that it would be fair to suggest it could also be attributed to "excessive spending" on Kirman's part.

As part of the IVA process, Kirman had also misrepresented the amount of childcare/maintenance he had to pay each month, with the £1,200 declared being just a fraction of what he was actually paying after signing the agreement. Mr Edwards also said how Kirman committed "a blatant misrepresentation" in relation to the amount of fuel he was paying for each month, with the figure of £375 clearly not taking into account the fact he lived and worked in the Wrexham area and that North Wales Police had a generous scheme in place that covered the majority of these.

Two charges of fraud related to an undeclared income Kirman was in receipt of for working for Pertemps as an assessor and the fact he was living with a new partner, who was bringing in an income. Mr Edwards added how Kirman had even Tippexed the name of his partner from a council tax form, to which he offered up no explanation for doing so.

In total, the five acts of fraud were believed to have cost creditors a total of £21,670 and the monthly payment of £257, which would have eventually paid off three quarters of the total debt owed, would have doubled had honest disclosures been made. Kirman had taken advantage of paying a lower amount than what he should have, when using his own father to take out credit agreements on two motorcycles, one of which was a Triumph Trophy.

Mr Edwards went on to explain how the dishonesty only came to light after Kirman's solicitor had contacted the administrator of the IVA requesting a payment break for his client from paying back the £257 per month, in the aftermath of him losing his career.

He said: "A thorough investigation took place after it was discovered Kirman was the sole Director of a Trading company.

"Had he continued paying the monthly amount and not requested the payment break, his dishonesty may have been missed."

Katy Appleton, defending, told the court that her client was remorseful and asked His Honour, Judge Niclas Parry to consider a suspended sentence with the addition of having to carry out unpaid work for the benefit of the community.

Sentencing Kirman to eight months for each charge, to be served concurrently, but suspended for a period of 12 months, Judge Niclas Parry told him he had carried out some "devious activities" and there had been numerous victims.

He said: "You don't need me to tell you that this was a premeditated and deliberate fraud.

"It was repeated over many years and there were numerous victims. Despite you being in receipt of a considerable income you simply carried on regardless."

Kirman was also ordered to pay costs of £2,800, but Judge Parry said it was "remarkable" no compensation would be paid as not one of the creditors had any interest in recovering money, with the remainder of the debt since written off. He will also have to complete 150 hours of unpaid work.