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Craig Alexander: NHS boss on £250,000 a year fired after colleague discovered he had been jailed for armed robbery

Craig Alexander lied to land a job as an NHS executive earning a quarter of a million a year

An armed robber talked NHS staff into giving him a £250,000 a year position without any background checks, despite being handed a three and a half year sentence for robbing a garage with a hand gun.

Craig Alexander was given the position of interim borough director for NHS Brent in north west London having lied about his background and criminal record in order to get the job. Bosses did not perform a criminal reference check. He was only exposed over a year later when a colleague searched him online and found reports on the theft, sentencing and his mugshot.

In his role, Alexander was responsible for managing millions of pounds of taxpayer-funded budgets for the Quality, Innovation, Productivity and Prevention programme for 17 months.

The 32-year-old stole £1,140 in cash and cheques worth £89.97 from  Tesco Express in West Byfleet, Surrey twelve years ago. Although the money was later recovered, he was not prosecuted for the offence until 2006 when he was arrested for a separate offence. He was jailed for three and a half years in 2007 for holding up a store at gun point and threatening two cashiers.

Questions are now being raised as to how he was given such a senior position without any formal checks into his background.

Speaking to the Brent and Kilburn Times, staff described Alexander as "big bully" who everyone was scared of. One staff member said: "You get in his way and you are sacked. There had been many complaints about Craig to the executive team but nothing was done about it."

"It is shocking that, for a senior member of staff in charge of budget issues, no checks were done and it took a member of staff to find out about his past and report it."

An NHS Brent spokesman said: "We have terminated his contract."