Former principal is stripped of his MBE

Stanley Poots pictured outside Craigavon Courthouse in March 2016. 
Picture by: Arthur Allison, Pacemaker (Pacemaker Press 07-03-2016)
Stanley Poots pictured outside Craigavon Courthouse in March 2016. Picture by: Arthur Allison, Pacemaker (Pacemaker Press 07-03-2016)

A local primary principal who stole £15,000 from his school over a period of five years has been stripped of his MBE honour.

Stanley Poots, who was headmaster of Dromara Primary School for more than four decades, was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence after admitting to a series of fraud charges.

At Craigavon Crown Court last year he pleaded guilty to committing 14 offences between October 2006 and November 2011, including fraud by false representation, false accounting and forgery.

Poots received his MBE in 2011 for services to education, but the 72-year-old has now been stripped of the honour for bringing the system into disrepute.

The decision was taken by the Honours Forfeiture Committee, which sends its recommendations to Her Majesty The Queen for approval.

A notice published in the Honours and Awards section of The Gazette - the official public record - on August 15 said: “THE QUEEN has directed that the appointment of Robert Stanley POOTS to be a Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, dated 31 December 2010, shall be cancelled and annulled and that his name shall be erased from the Register of the said Order.”