The former chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies Richard Gilliland was described to police as a “ruthless man” who always got what he wanted, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told on Tuesday, December 8.
Stephen Davies, the organisation’s former finance director who is on trial for fraud alongside Gilliland, told police in an interview that Gilliland would “let rip” at other members of staff.
Davies claimed that elections for parent and staff governors were rigged.
The jury heard that Davies told police:
“It was a standing joke that these weren’t done very honestly. All the staff and parent governors were just the ones that Mr Gilliland wanted. I thought it was outrageous.”
Davies added: “You know when they say power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Richard Gilliland thought he was invulnerable.
“He could do anything he wanted. He rode roughshod over everyone and everything that got in his way. He was very single-minded. He wanted these things. People had to make it happen.”
“Terry Coffey [the chair of the trustees] just went along with everything he said. It is very hard to find an occasion when they said ‘no’ to him. He got rid of governors who got in the way. I can think of several.
“He was known as a ruthless man who always got his own way and woe betide anyone who got in the way of him.”
Davies said he loved teaching but he hated every minute of his job as finance director and chose to retire immediately after his 55th birthday.
He admitted in the interview that he agreed to overtime payments for Gilliland’s son Kia Richardson which should not have been made.
But he told officers: “I was basically told to do it.
“I was bullied into doing it. I’m not pleased. I’m not proud of it. I should not have done it.”
Richard Gilliland, 64, who now lives in Spain, denies six charges of fraud by abuse of position on dates between October 2008 and November 2011.
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 Wednesday afternoon.
Follow the progress of the trial so far:
- Ex-Lincoln academy boss employed son who failed CRB check, fraud trial hears
- Lincoln academy paid £2,480 bill for CEO’s son to attend training course, court hears
- Fraud trial: Lincoln academy’s financial management described as “chaotic”
- ‘Forceful’ ex-Lincoln academy boss rarely backed up expenses with receipts, court hears
- Boss’ son who failed CRB check not interviewed for job at Lincoln academy, trial hears
- Lincoln academy invoice was tampered with, court hears from employee
- Employee tells jury ex-Lincoln federation boss was “drained” by problems with son
- Ex-Lincoln academy boss’ son left trust in “turmoil”, jury told
- Solicitor ‘had no knowledge’ of ex-Lincoln academy CEO’s employment conditions, jury hears
- Ex-Lincoln academy boss provided alternative curriculum for disruptive pupils
- Gilliland fraud trial: No overtime payments were authorised to son
- Ex-Lincoln academy boss considered retirement before he resigned, court hears
- Ex-Lincoln academies boss described as ‘admirable’ as fraud trial resumes
- Federation chairman denies conspiracy to make Gilliland a scapegoat, fraud trial hears
- Lincoln trust sought legal advice after national paper investigated employment of boss’ son
- Ex-Lincoln academy boss in ‘terrible mental state’ prior to fraud probe, court hears
Due to the judge’s ruling on Friday, November 13, any comments on the ongoing trial on The Lincolnite will be removed.