The former chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies Trust told police that he was in turmoil when an investigation was carried out into the organisation, a jury heard on Monday, December 7.
Richard Gilliland admitted to officers that he had mentioned the prospect of being jailed to other members of staff in conversations arising out of the inquiry into allegations of fraud.
David Allan, prosecuting, read to the jury details of a series of police interviews in which Gilliland told officers: “I was in a terrible state. They had said this could be fraud.”
Allan said: “He said he had been in a terrible mental state for months prior to the auditors. He said the school had had interest from the BBC then a Freedom of Information request from the News of the World. Also there had been contact from the Parliamentary Public Accounts committee.
“He said he had gone to the doctors and was on medication and just out of it really.”
The jury at Lincoln Crown Court has heard allegations that Gilliland together with the federation’s then finance director Stephen Davies defrauded the school out of thousands of pounds.
Gilliland is alleged to have hidden a Criminal Records Bureau check which revealed past convictions of his son Kia Richardson when Richardson was taken on as an employee by the federation.
And he is alleged to have used federation funds to pay for training courses for Richardson before his son was employed.
But Gilliland denied the allegations to officers. He said in his interviews that the it was a genuine mistake that a course at West Bridgford Equestrian Centre was paid for out by the federation.
And he added that the costs of another course at a college in Chelmsford attended by his son were paid from an “allowance” he was given by the federation following his promotion to chief executive.
Gilliland said his new role meant he was no longer eligible to be a member of the Teachers’ Pension Fund. As a result he said he was given an allowance to make up for the pension and life insurance.
He told officers that personal items bought on Amazon using a federation credit card were paid for out of the same allowance.
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.
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
Due to the judge’s ruling on Friday, November 13, any comments on the ongoing trial on The Lincolnite will be removed.