Fraud allegations are “incomprehensible”, says accused ex-Lincoln academies boss

The former chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies accused of fraud, this afternoon (Thurs) described suggestions that he had taken advantage of his position to steal money from the organisation as “incomprehensible”.

Richard Gilliland said he was regularly owed money by the federation for items he had purchased for work and regarded personal use of the federation credit cards as a way of “offsetting” money he was due.

He also told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that he was allowed an “allowance” in lieu of a £2,200 a year life insurance policy.

The jury has heard that Gilliland was no longer entitled to be a member of the Teachers’ Pension Scheme when he became chief executive of the Federation. His membership of the scheme had included a death in service benefit and he said the life insurance allowance was compensation.

He was asked by his barrister Mark Harries to respond to the prosecution suggestion that he had taken advantage of his position and abused it by undermining the financial integrity of the PFA and, in effect, stolen money.

Gilliland replied “It’s such a horrible, ridiculous concept. I just find it incomprehensible.”

Gilliland, together with the federation’s former head of finance Stephen Davies, is accused of defrauding the organisation out of thousands of pounds.

Richard Gilliland, 64, who now lives in Spain, has denied six charges of fraud by abuse of position on dates between October 2008 and November 2011.

Today (Thurs) a further charge of fraud by abuse of position was added to the indictment alleging that Gilliland brought about the employment of his son Kia Richardson knowing that Richardson was unsuitable. Gilliland also denies that matter.

The PFA’s former finance director Stephen Davies, 58, of Abingdon Avenue, Lincoln, denies three charges of fraud by abuse of position.

The trial continues on Monday.

Due to the judge’s ruling on Friday, November 13, any comments on the ongoing trial on The Lincolnite will be removed.

Follow the progress of the trial so far: