Thieving union rep must pay back £7,000

Union treasurer Heath List
Union treasurer Heath List

A disgraced union treasurer who stole £53k from the coffers to fund a lavish lifestyle of ski trips and private school fees must pay back £7,628.23 of his ill gotten gains.

BAe worker Heath List, 49, used his position with the union Unite to write 283 cheques to himself, his family and utility firms – despite having a household income of almost £100,000 a year.

He is serving 20 months in prison after admitting 15 fraud and theft charges in March.

In proceedings brought under the Proceeds of Crime Act, a judge at Preston Crown Court ordered List to pay the amount within three months or face a further four months in jail in default.

The court said he had benefitted to the tune of £58,079.96 but his available assets were worth £7,628.23

Much of the money pilfered by List was earmarked for charity contributions – including £2,000 destined for the Japanese Tsunami Appeal, which funded a family ski holiday for List.

He also paid for a private education and the upkeep of a pony for his daughter from the Union coffers.

List took over the role of treasurer of the Fylde Coast Branch in 2000 from a colleague at BAe.

Preston Crown Court previously heard List, now of Lingwell Gate Lane, Wakefield, started “borrowing” money from the union funds after his wife Sarah, a headteacher, was seriously injured in a car accident in 2003.

Unable to work, she placed increasing demands on her husband to provide a lifestyle of three holidays a year and an expensive education, the court heard.