Fraudster in bid to appeal

This Is Wiltshire: Former British Army officer Robert Jolleys Former British Army officer Robert Jolleys

AN Army officer who was jailed for defrauding taxpayers of nearly £200,000 to educate his children at a top private school is trying to appeal against his conviction.

Even though he has served his sentence, Lt/Col Robert Jolleys, who is known by his middle name Henry, is trying to overturn the jury’s guilty verdicts.

The 54-year-old has already failed in a first attempt at clearing his name but his lawyers say they are submitting a renewed appeal.

And as a result of the continued legal fight a judge has had to postpone the authorities’ attempt to claw back his ill-gotten gains.

Victoria Smith-Swain, acting for Jolleys, asked Swindon Crown Court if a Proceeds of Crime Act application could be put off for three months.

But Judge Tim Mousley QC said the request was for too long and he would only postpone the case until Monday, September 22.

The judge asked her if it was right the appeal had been turned down and she told the court “I understand the application is being renewed.”

Under the Proceeds of Crime Act a financial investigator will look at his available assets in a bid to recover the full amount of his benefit from crime. A judge will then order the confiscation of as much of the figure as he can and impose a prison term in default.

Jolleys, who was stationed at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham, cheated the system between 2004 and 2009.

The officer claimed cash to send his three sons to the exclusive £28,000-a-year Roman Catholic Stonyhurst College, in Lancashire.

He got a 90 per cent subsidy on the fees under the Army’s Continuing Education Allowance.

The scheme allows service personnel to send children to boarding school to prevent disruption to schooling caused by postings around the UK and abroad.

Because he had separated from wife Judith he was no longer entitled to it, but he kept up an elaborate charade by telling superiors they were still together in Army quarters.

The ruse was only rumbled when his now ex-wife rang his superior officer in the summer of 2009 and asked “Where’s Henry?” sparking an investigation.

Jailing him in March last year, Recorder Jeremy Wright said he had committed a ‘serious, substantial fraud’.

“This is not just a case of letting things slip,” the judge said.

“On each of these occasions you deliberately made declarations to obtain the money you obtained and make the fraud. You are an intelligent man and knew what you were doing.”

Jolleys, of Clitheroe, Lancashire, denied any wrongdoing but the jury found him guilty of three counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception, three of fraud and one of the forgery when he signed his ex-wife’s signature on a bank form.

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