The former chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies Richard Gilliland insisted it was not inappropriate for his son to be employed by the organisation, despite him having served a jail sentence for flashing.
Gilliland, who spent a fourth day in the witness box, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that his son Kia Richardson was not barred from working in schools as his convictions for outraging public decency were classified as public order matters rather than sexual offences.
The jury has heard that Richardson was twice convicted of outraging public decency, both matters involving flashing at women, and was jailed for the second of those offences.
He also had convictions for drink driving and possession of heroin as well as cautions for another drugs matter and shoplifting.
Richardson was initially taken on to work at a proposed equestrian centre the Federation planned for Ropsley but the deal to buy those premises fell through.
The organisation instead purchased a similar centre at Laughton Manor near Sleaford which was used as an “alternative curriculum centre”.
Richardson was appointed yard manager and lived on site until he quit following an investigation into his part carried out by the News of the World.
Under cross-examination from prosecuting barrister David Allan the former chief executive told the jury: “You start with the premise that he was unsuitable. I don’t accept he was unsuitable. As far as I was concerned there was no issue.
“The fact is that in 2008 he had made a conscious decision to turn his life around and he did so brilliantly.
“I knew the convictions were for public order offences and that they were not offences that attracted a bar.”
Gilliland said he had no part in the decision to employ his son and denied a prosecution claim that he hid the results of his son’s Criminal Records Bureau check.
Allan suggested that Kia Richardson was employed in a job he was not capable of doing and claimed that he had been “set up to fail” by being given the post of yard manager.
But Gilliland responded: “There is no way I would put my son in such a situation. There is no way I would have allowed him to be in a situation where he could fail.”
Richard Gilliland, 64, who now lives in Spain, has denied 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, denies three charges of fraud by abuse of position.
The trial was adjourned and will resume in the New Year.
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:
- 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
- “I was bullied into it”, says former Lincoln academies’ finance director in fraud trial
- ‘Not a jot of truth’ in fraud allegations, says ex-Lincoln academies boss in defence
- Fraud allegations are “incomprehensible”, says accused ex-Lincoln academies boss
- “I always put the children first,” claims ex-Lincoln academies boss accused of fraud
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