A former Ilkley millionaire has been given a suspended jail sentence for bribing Ministers in the Turks and Caicos islands.

Psychiatric nurse turned property developer Richard Padgett sat in the dock at a Leeds Crown Court yesterday to hear sentence passed by a judge sitting in the Turks and Caicos islands (TCI) over a video link.

After a hearing lasting more than four hours, Mr Justice Paul Harrison told Padgett, 60, that corruption involving developers and Government ministers was serious, but because of his circumstances – including poor health – he could suspend the jail terms.

Padgett, of Denton, Ilkley, had admitted a charge of bribery between 2003 to 2009, which stated that together with others he gave “inducements by unlawful corrupt payments or other rewards” to two Government ministers so they would act in a way contrary “to the rules of honesty and integrity”.

He also admitted a second charge of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice by agreeing to present false or forged documents to the Commission of Inquiry into the activities of some politicians in the TCI.

He was sentenced to a total of two years in prison suspended for two years.

Andrew Mitchell QC, prosecuting, said Padgett paid bribes totalling 375,000 dollars. They were made through the Oceanpoint Development firm of which he was the major shareholder to further the development of a Club and spa at Third Turtle.

Mr Mitchell said the defendant started out as a psychiatric nurse before he began running care homes in the UK from which he made his money.

Padgett first went to the TCI in 1996, where he built a house at the Third Turtle Club and was regular visitor over the next eight years until he became a resident of the British Overseas Territory.