AN agency worker jailed for cheating the NHS out of more than £14,000 by fiddling his time sheets today had his sentence halved by top judges.
David Steven Sammons was working at Rotherham General Hospital in the medical records department when he carried out the fraud, London's Court of Appeal heard.
The 30-year-old, of Barnsley Road, Cudworth, Barnsley, was jailed for a year after he admitted four counts of fraud by false representation at Sheffield Crown Court on June 10.
But Appeal Court judges today slashed his sentence to just six months, saying the original term was too long for his crimes.
Mr Justice Kenneth Parker told the court Sammons worked at the hospital from August 2007, having been provided by a recruitment agency.
He would submit time sheets, countersigned by a member of hospital staff, to the agency, which would then claim the cash back from the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust.
In February 2008, it emerged Sammons had been submitting falsified timesheets with forged signatures, including claims for a period after he had finished working for the trust. He also handed in false timesheets for shifts he didn't work, between August and October 2007.
The court heard Sammons submitted 151 false timesheets, amounting to £14,339 paid by the trust for work he hadn't done.
When interviewed, he admitted his crimes, saying he was unable to return to work following the birth of his child, but needed the money.
However, he then went to find work in South Africa and was only brought to justice after being arrested at Heathrow Airport in March this year.
Mr Ian Storey, for Sammons, argued his jail term was too long, saying the Crown Court judge didn't take enough account of sentencing guidelines relating to fraud cases.
Mr Justice Parker, sitting with Lord Justice Hooper and Mr Justice Butterfield, allowed the appeal, saying the original one-year jail term was "excessive".
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