A man who stole more than #400,000 from a medical centre in Solihull where he worked as practice manager has been jailed for four years.

Philip Richard White (46), of the Stags Head pub in Welles-bourne, Warwickshire, pleaded guilty to nine charges of obtaining money transfers by deception.

Warwick Crown Court was told his pleas were entered on the basis there were 200 further occasions when he had committed similar offences to obtain money from the Shirley Medical Centre.

Andrew Tucker, prosecuting, said White had worked as the centre?s practice manager, earning up to #27,000 a year, from April 1997 until last October.

But he had to resign last autumn after being prosecuted for downloading indecent images of children, for which he was given a three-year community rehabilitation order.

A new practice manager began at the centre in January and carried out various checks to establish the state of the centre?s finances.

He found there were discrepancies which led him to make further inquiries with Lloyds bank, whose ?Telepay? system the practice used.

Each month White would notify Telepay of the total wages bill, together with details of the payment due to each member of staff. But White authorised three payment accounts in his own name.

It was found that he had received #189,340 more than his salary between February 2002 and last autumn. But further inquiries revealed the total figure, since April 1997, had been #426,420.

He told the police he had started stealing money from the practice in the 1990s. He disguised his dishonesty by making extra claims for drugs dispensed and other expenditure.