Belfast Telegraph

Academic jailed after defrauding students

By Emma Sword

A Northern Ireland man who contested a Westminster election for the Liberal Democrats has been jailed for 30 months after defrauding students and their families out of over £20,000.

Co Down-born academic Dr Vincent McKee (54) was sentenced at Coventry Crown Court yesterday after being convicted of 25 counts of fraud by a jury after a six-week trial.

The court heard that McKee, who ran a student tuition firm in Coventry, stole around £23,000 from clients by using their bank card details between October 2009 and January 2011.

Sentencing McKee, who stood for the Liberal Democrats in Coventry North West in 2010, Judge Peter Carr said: “You were in charge of a business which offered tuition to people who needed it... they were already at a stressful time in their lives.”

He added: “There were many people who couldn't afford to be without the money you took.”

Jailing McKee for two and a half years, the judge told him: “There can be no other sentence but imprisonment for this persistent fraud.”

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