Priory Academy pair to face trial on fraud charges

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The former chief executive of the Priory Federation of Academies - which includes Grantham’s Priory Ruskin Academy - is to stand trial in front of a jury later this year accused of charges of fraud by abuse of position.

Richard Gilliland, 64, formerly of Collingham, but currently living in Moreira, Spain, this morning pleaded not guilty to charges when he appeared in the dock at Lincoln Crown Court.

The Federation’s former financial director Stephen Davis, 57, of Abingdon Avenue, Lincoln, denied three charges of fraud by abuse of position.

Both men are charged with dishonestly abusing their positions intending to make a gain for Equine Energy Ltd and Writtle College by causing payments to be made for a course and accommodation for Gilliland’s son Kia Richardson between January 1, 2010 and February 28, 2010.

They also face a charge of between April 1, 2010 and May 31, 2010 authorising a claim for repayment of payments to West Bridgford Equestrian Centre for a course for Mr Richardson.

Gilliland and Davis also face a third joint charge that between November 10, 2011 and November 30, 2011, they arranged for the federation to make overtime payments to Kia Richardson to which he was not entitled.

Gilliland alone denied three further similar charges. These are that on or about July 14, 2010 he made a claim for repayment of payments to Tack Box Ltd for equestrian supplies for the benefit of Kia Richardson.

Between January 1, 2011 and July 31, 2011, he assisted Mr Richardson to gain employment with the Federation by suppressing the results of a Criminal Records Bureau check on him.

Between October 1, 2006 and June 30, 2011, he used and allowed others to use credit cards belonging to the Priory Federation of Academies to be used for personal purchases which were unauthorised

Recorder Nicholas Syfret QC granted both men unconditional bail and adjourned the case for a trial at Lincoln Crown Court starting in November.

The court was told that the trial is likely to last for up to five weeks.