IT boss who swindled £500,000 from National Library of Scotland jailed


A CROOKED IT boss used some of the 500,000 he swindled from the National Library of Scotland to go to Australia for the weekend.Chief information officer David Dinham was today jailed for two years after he secretly awarded his own IT company library contracts worth more than 240,000 during a sophisticated scam.And in fits of

“mania’ the Australian splashed out another 260,000 on goods with a government credit card he was entrusted with by his employers.It emerged that Dinham, who was living in Edinburgh at the time, was in such a position of seniority that his dealings were left unchecked by library chiefs.When he realised his spending was not being supervised he persistently siphoned cash over a four year period without being noticed.But as well as spending money on himself Dinham, who bragged to neighbours that he was a

“missionary’, also helped others by using some of the cash to fund voluntary projects, it was heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.The Australian suffered depression because he was adopted and carried out the fraud in a bid to make himself happy, said his solicitor.Fiscal depute Pauline Shade told Edinburgh Sheriff Court that Dinham was employed as the institution’s chief information officer and was in charge of IT, goods and services with no supervision because of his seniority.But fraud officers were called into investigate after his crime was discovered in September last year.Unbeknown to library chiefs Dinham was also the sole director of a company called Raith Solutions while he worked for them, she said.’Concerns were raised by a member of staff that matters with regard to the accounts didn’t appear to be in order so an investigation was commenced.’It was then discovered that the accused had awarded himself a contract,’ she said.Library contracts of a certain value had to go out to tender, she said.

“This had not happened when it should have,’ added the fiscal.Dinham had previosuly admitted carrying out the offence between September 6, 2006, and June 9, 2010, according to court papers.An investigation found that Dinham had awarded himself a total of 10 contracts, added the fiscal.’It was discovered that a number of contracts were made. Dinham had never declared he was the sole director of this company or had any connection with it. There were around 240,856 worth of invoices submitted by Raith Solutions to the NLS.’The remaining moneys came from the accused’s use of a government credit card.’Dinham told police that some of the services contracted out to the firm were provided. But it would have been difficult for the library to establish just what was provided, the fiscal said.He also told officers that the credit card transactions were for

“personal purchases’, the fiscal said.Defence agent Duncan Hughes said the scam started in 2006.

“He made one purchase with his credit card, a fairly small item, but realised there were no checks. He seems to have then continued to purchase and the money is going up and up. He seems to lurch from feelings of very low mood and depression to periods of mania. He described times of mania when he spent money. He went to Australia for the weekend. Equally, he spent money on voluntary projects.’It’s quite a strange combination. It wasn’t simply for his own benefit. It would appear the money was being used to make him happy in some way to deal with the depression he was suffering from.’He said Dinham, who was born in Australia, had been adopted shortly after birth.

“This seems to have led to him experiencing feelings of depression and worthlessnes and an inability to cope with the fact he’d been adopted,’ he said.He was brought up in a very high achieving family and had gained

“several degrees’ in accounting and information technology, said Mr Hughes.Dinham was on anti-depressants during the scam, he added.He was now heavily involved with the Morningside Baptist Church, and was being supported by church members.And he had since sold all his assets to pay 150,000 of the money back.Social workers recommended that Dinham should not face a custodial sentence so he could get access to mental health treatment.Sheriff Alastair Noble took into account Dinham’s early plea and personal circumstances. However, he said:

“This case still has to be dealt with by way of a custodial sentence given the gravity of the offence. A breach of trust was involved and it extended over a number of years and a very significant sum was involved.’Dinham, who was supported in court by his parents, was jailed for two years. His adoptive father, who did not want to be named, said he had been

“shocked’ by his son’s behaviour.

“It was his depression,’ he said.He said his son’s activities should have been spotted sooner.

“It should have been picked up right at the very start,’ he added.A confiscation hearing to recover the outstanding 350,000 has been set for September.