retired colonel, who was the deputy director of the Authorities’s Covid-19 process power, has been cleared of falsely claiming £43,470 to pay his kids’s boarding college charges.
Prosecutors mentioned Marcus Reedman, 51, claimed continuity of training allowance (CEA) funds to assist fund his three kids’s £75,000-a-year non-public college charges, which matched his complete British Military wage.
Reedman’s final job was because the deputy director of the Covid-19 process power with the rank of performing brigadier.
Throughout his Military profession, he was pictured alongside the King, who was then the Prince of Wales, and David Cameron, who was prime minister on the time.
Prosecutors mentioned he “cheated the system” to “dishonestly” accumulate taxpayers’ cash whereas he was posted to a desk job on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) constructing in Whitehall.
Reedman’s eldest daughter and son attended Brighton Faculty, costing about £30,000 every a 12 months, whereas his youngest daughter was a daygirl on the Marlborough Home prep college in Kent, for which no CEA was claimed.
To be eligible for the scheme – geared toward permitting the kids of service personnel to remain on the identical college whereas their serving father or mother is posted across the nation or overseas – he needed to be accompanied by his spouse, Astrid Reedman.
He was alleged to have wrongly claimed the funds whereas she and his household had been residing on the household house in Rye, East Sussex, as a substitute of his residence at work handle (RWA) in Biggin Hill, south-east London.
The soldier, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, informed jurors he was serving accompanied all through the interval October 1 2016 till August 17 2017.
He was acquitted of fraud by a jury at Southwark Crown Court docket on Thursday after 15 hours of deliberation.
His supporters within the public gallery cheered and he bowed to Decide Nicholas Rimmer earlier than leaving the court docket.
Giving proof, Reedman mentioned he attended a prep college earlier than finishing state training and joined the Military aged 23.
He informed jurors he determined to ship his kids to non-public college as a result of his daughter was being “severely bullied”.
However he mentioned he was not “wedded” to the concept and denied he had dishonestly defrauded the MoD.
When requested if he had moved to Biggin Hill alone, he mentioned: “No, I moved with my household,” and informed the jury his spouse had not moved again to Rye by October 2016.