‘Black bottom’ fetishist spanked for degree scam

University registrar Karl Woodgett offered fake degrees to African women in return for spanking them

BY Sophie Taylor LAST UPDATED AT 11:28 ON Wed 3 Feb 2010

A university registrar has admitted giving fake degrees to African women who allowed him to indulge his sexual fetishes by spanking and caning them.

Karl Woodgett lured two Cameroonian women to a hotel in 2008 via emails, under the pretence of running a "pain management study", telling them to call him Dave. In return for their sexual favours he paid Elsie Neh and Mbone Kemba and offered them bogus degree certificates from the prestigious University of Bath.

The 37-year-old had perfected his degree-faking scheme earlier while working as a registrar at the University of Surrey. At first he falsified degrees for relatives of his 31-year-old Cameroonian ex-wife, Delphine Kah.

Woodgett later asked Kah to find candidates prepared to pay for bogus University of Surrey degrees. Prices ranged from £500 for a 2:2 undergraduate degree to £1,000 for a Masters with distinction. In emails between the pair, they joked that their scam should be known as "Karl and Kah's Crooked Certificates".

James Ward, prosecuting for the UK Border Agency, which feared the fraud might be used to aid illegal immigration, said: "Woodgett did not want Kah for sex but to indulge his spanking fetish with her because she had a black bottom."

In May 2007, Woodgett became registrar at the University of Bath. Here, he used another staff member's login details to add the names of his customers to the degree database. He obtained blank degree certificates by claiming he was carrying out a printing review.

Woodgett pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false instruments, namely university degrees, and two counts of possessing articles for the use of fraud, namely two bogus degree certificates from the University of Bath.

Sentencing him at Bristol Crown Court, Judge David Ticehurst told Woodgett: "It goes to the root of what universities are about and if they have administrators such as you who are prepared to falsify documents then the whole point of that purpose is undermined.

"You have already suffered immense personal loss as a result of your actions. You have lost your job, career, professional reputation and your marriage."

The judge also revealed that Woodgett was the sole carer of his two-year-old daughter - from another relationship - and risked going bankrupt.

He was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for one year, and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work. · 

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