Disgraced NHS manager sells horses linked to fraud

  • A high-ranking NHS chief, who stole more than £200,000 from hospital trusts, has now sold the horses she bred using the money.

    Louise Tomkins denied importing horse semen into the UK disguised as human semen for IVF treatment.

    But she admitted defrauding the NHS of £201,333.27 between 7 July 2007 and
    17 September 2008 and using the money to buy semen to breed quality dressage and showjumping horses.

    She was ordered to repay the money by selling 18 of her horses kept at Southfield Stud in Horsham, West Sussex.

    Thirteen of the 16 entered in the sale went under the hammer at Malvern Horse and Pony Sale on 25 May, raising £22,200 overall.

    Six yearlings fetched between £1,400 and £2,200 each, despite being in malnourished condition.

    Auctioneer Andrew Elliott said vets certified the yearlings as fit for sale at the Three Counties showground.

    One broodmare Kunera, by top showjumping sire Burggraaff, had injured her foot on the lorry bringing her from Horsham and was treated by a vet at the sale ground.

    Before the sale, auctioneers announced that a dispute between Ms Tomkins and stallion owners over covering fees meant stud fees of up to £1,600 were oustanding on some of the youngstock.

    A series of broodmares, in good condition, also went under the hammer and the entire consignment was sold without reserve.

    Miss Tomkins was released on bail from Southwark Crown Court in January this year in order to give her time to sell the horses. She is due to be sentenced today (10 June).

    Miss Tomkins, who had worked as a senior manager for Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust in west London, was not present to see the horses sold.

    “Despite looking poor the yearlings made quite good money, considering some of the [covering] fees that were outstanding,” said Mr Elliott.

    “They achieved fair prices, particularly some of the older mares — who made as much as £3,500, despite being aged.

    “Miss Tomkins was very helpful as far as we were concerned in providing the information that was needed.”

    This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (10 June, 2010)

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