10 JUN. 2013
Mr Christopher Bodger
Disciplinary Panel hearing - 5 June 2013
The Panel heard the case concerning Christopher Bodger’s conviction in accordance with RICS Bye-Law 5.2.2(d) of RICS Bye-Laws 2009
The Panel considered the following:
Christopher Bodger MRICS may be liable to disciplinary action under RICS Bye-Law B5.2.2(d) by reason of having been convicted of a criminal offence which could result in a custodial sentence, the particulars being that on 19 July 2012, you were convicted by the Magistrates’ Court of three counts of fraud and one count of theft, and were sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on 16 August 2012 to ten months’ imprisonment.
Findings of Fact
The Panel considered whether service had been effected under Rule 23 of the Disciplinary and Appeal Panel Rules 2009 (“The Rules”). The charge letter had been sent by post and email on 29th April 2013, and Mr Bodger had responded in detail and completed the Listing Questionnaire. The Panel finds service to be in accordance with rule 23.
The Panel next considered whether the case was suitable to be heard by way of Written Representations. The bundle included a Certificate of Conviction. Mr Bodger had agreed to the case being heard by way of Written Representations. The Panel finds this to be appropriate and decided to proceed.
The Panel found the facts proved in respect of the conviction and that Mr Bodger was liable to disciplinary action under Bye Law 5.2.2(d).
The Panel took into account the written submissions of RICS and Mr Bodger together with the Sanction Guidance.
The Panel took particular note of the circumstances of the conviction. The Panel also noted the sentencing remarks of the Hearing Judge, particularly that Mr Bodger was in a position of trust, and that the fraud was not a one off but went on for a period of approximately 12 months.
The Panel had regard to the mitigation submitted by Mr Bodger. It accepted his expression of remorse and acknowledged that the money had been repaid. The Panel also noted that Mr Bodger had fully co-operated with RICS’ investigation. The Panel further had regard to the public interest, the reputation of RICS, and that the public expect the highest standards of personal conduct from Chartered Surveyors.
Having considered whether a caution, reprimand, fine or conditions of practice would be sufficient sanction the Panel concluded that none were appropriate owing to the seriousness of the conviction and that a custodial sentence had been imposed. Such conviction is in breach of Bye-Law 5.2.2(d) and criminal behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued membership of any professional body. The Panel concluded that the only appropriate penalty was to expel Mr Bodger from membership of RICS.
Determination on Publication and Costs
The Panel orders publication in accordance with Supplement 3 of the Sanctions Policy, that is in Modus, on RICS website and in a suitable publication local to Mr Bodger.
The Panel orders that Mr Bodger shall pay RICS’ costs in the amount of £600.
Mr Bodger has 28 days to appeal this decision in accordance with Rule 59 of the Disciplinary, Registration and Appeal Panel Rules.