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Rail manager committed suicide after corrupt dealings exposed

A senior manager at Network Rail committed suicide with his wife after the net began to close in on a scam involving bribes from corrupt executives.

Anthony Burgess, 45, was showered with tens of thousands of pounds in cash, along with Porsche car parts and five-star holidays in return for deals with two rail contractors, Peter Sale and Anthony Whittington.

The rail manager and his wife, Marian, 51, took their own lives after National Rail alerted police to the scam.

Several months earlier Mr Burgess was sacked from his £75,000-a-year job overseeing the refurbishment of company offices, following an internal inquiry.

Sale, 50, of Tadworth, Surrey, and Whittington, 48, of Abridge, Essex, both separately masterminded years of corruption with Mr Burgess. Their convictions earlier this year can now be reported after prosecutors confirmed that reporting restrictions had been lifted after three other defendants were cleared of corruption charges.

Mr Burgess had been under investigation for alleged financial irregularities when he and his wife were found dead at their home in Clavering, Essex, in January 2009.

Sue Patten, the head of central fraud at the Crown Prosecution Service, said Whittington provided trips to New York, Monaco and Rome and a cheque for £7,500 "as an inducement or reward to show favour to his business" from Mr Burgess.

Sale provided Mr Burgess with more than £21,000, parts for a Porsche and parts for a new bathroom, she added.

Mr Burgess, in his role as corporate offices manager at National Rail, was required to organise suppliers and contractors to carry out work on rail lines. Whittington's gifts were provided to Mr Burgess during 2006 in return for Mr Burgess dropping his existing suppliers an switching to his firm.

Whittington, a director of WWP Consultants Ltd, is serving a 12-month jail term after being sentenced at Blackfriars Crown Court on 2 September, while Sale, the managing director of Sale Service and Maintenance Ltd, had a 12-month sentence suspended for two years after admitting his part in the scam at Woolwich Crown Court.