Whalley Army officer guilty of school fees fraud

Robert Jolleys

Robert Jolleys

First published in News

A SENIOR Army officer was facing jail tonight after being convicted of defrauding taxpayers of nearly £200,000 to educate his children at a top private school.

Lieutenant Colonel Robert Henry Jolleys, 52, claimed the cash to send his three sons to the exclusive Roman Catholic Stonyhurst College.

After a day's deliberations, a jury at Swindon Crown Court convicted Jolleys of three charges of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three charges of fraud and one charge of forgery.

He was acquitted of one charge of obtaining a money transfer by deception.

The jury was discharged from considering verdicts on a further charge of obtaining a money transfer by deception and two counts of forgery.

The offences he was convicted of total £188,063.11.

Jolleys, of Woodlands Park in Whalley, Clitheroe, Lancashire, had denied all 11 counts.

Sentencing was adjourned until March and Jolleys was released on conditional bail.

Jolleys showed no emotion as the jury foreman returned the verdicts.

During the trial it was alleged that the father of three, who has since left the Army, claimed £218,094.11 in continuing education allowance between January 2002 and December 2009.

However, the jury convicted him of offences dated between April 2004 and December 2009.

The continuing education allowance allows service personnel to send their children to boarding school and prevents any disruption to their schooling.

The court has heard that Jolleys, who is known as Henry, was legitimately claiming the allowance after he separated from his wife.

He is accused of not informing his superiors of the split - therefore creating a change in his circumstances - meaning he may have no longer received the allowance.

Under cross-examination Jolleys accepted he knew the "broad rules" around claiming the allowance but maintained he and his now ex-wife had not separated when he was posted from London to North Yorkshire in 2002.

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