Richard Gilliland prosecuted because of “who he is”, Lincoln fraud trial hears

The former Chief Executive of the Priory Federation of Academies was prosecuted because of “who he is,” a jury was told on Wednesday, January 20.

Richard Gilliland, 64, denies abusing his position by using federation credit cards to buy thousands of pounds worth of personal items.

Addressing the jury in his closing speech, defence barrister Mark Harries told them it was possible to conclude that the PFA actually owed Gilliland money for his expenses rather than his client having committed a fraud.

Harries told Lincoln Crown Court that its highest the prosecution alleged a fraud of just £11,264 regarding Mr Gilliland’s expenses.

The court heard Gilliland paid back over £8,000 in the summer of the 2011.

Harries said when that figure was added to insurance premiums that Gilliland was entitled to it meant the PFA could still owe him around £1,900.

Gilliland also denies that he fraudulently arranged for the federation to pay for training courses for his son, Kia Richardson, and for him to be paid money he was not entitled to.

“Kia did do some work whatever anybody else says about it, he did put in some overtime,” Harries said.

Harries told the jury it was the defence case that the Chairman of the PFA, Terry Coffey, got Gilliland to resign by “hook and crook.”

“Do you really think if Mr Gilliland was a nobody that we would be here?,” Harries asked the jury to consider.

“Make no mistake Richard Gilliland has been prosecuted because of who he is and not in spite of it.”

Gilliland, 64, who now lives in Spain, denies seven 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, also denies three charges of fraud by abuse of position.

The trial continues.

Due to the judge’s ruling on Friday, November 13, 2015, any comments on the ongoing trial on The Lincolnite will be removed.

Follow the progress of the trial so far: