Fairly rigorous here, fairly rigorous

The Army is always very keen indeed upon financial honesty. So, breaches are taken seriously. I know a bloke who was thrown out for bouncing a cheque in a fellow officer. So, our Major General:

A senior army officer has been jailed for 21 months for falsely claiming almost £50,000 in allowances to pay for his children’s boarding school fees.

Pretty fierce for there’s more:

As well as the custodial sentence, to be served in a civilian prison, Welch was retrospectively dismissed from the army, meaning he will not be able to benefit from the rank of retired major general.

He was also ordered to pay back the fraudulently claimed money.

Not sure if Brigadier is still a rank or not. Which means he might drop back to Colonel – which is a significant reduction in pension there.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if those others who work for us – in, say, politics, the civil service, local councils – who lift £50k get similar sentences?

20 thoughts on “Fairly rigorous here, fairly rigorous”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Just before I left there was a case of an RSM who was caught fiddling his motor mileage and other allowances. Bust to private and dismissed. He only had a year to go for full pension so lost that and ended up with pension of a private not having done full 22.

    I didn’t hear anything about him having to pay the allowances back but guess that will have been part of the sentence.

  2. Should have busted the general to private (on top of the jail time and paying the money back, of course), and permanently assigned him to the bog cleaning squad or other menial barracks duties. Would do him good to be ordered around by a 19 year old lance corporal.

  3. I always get the feeling with cases like this (such as the carrier captain sacked for driving a RN Ford Galaxy (ooh!) on days off) that the person is being punished on a technicality over some other non-offense (most likely upsetting someone up the chain).

    Abuse of the system isn’t exactly rare in the officer class. There’s more to this than meets the eye, I reckon.

  4. Only a tiny minority formally steal so to speak.

    The real theft of our wealth is ultimately unpunished as political /civil serve/council scum piss 100s of billions up the wall. Rather than a lot of vindictive tosh Colonel Gimp should have been forced to stay on unpaid until his wages had paid back double–what he stole + fair compo. Then left with his pension intact up to the time he turned crook.

    The “honest” thieves have spunked so much through their fingers that a million lifetimes wages would not be enough to pay them back. Considering how much precious human time was involved in creating the wealth the state goons mentioned above have wasted–death would not be an unjust sentence on them all.

  5. I’d agree with PJF. I don’t suppose this bloke’s the only one been padding his exes. You’d probably find most of them are claiming this or that they strictly shouldn’t. And blind eyes aren’t just the prerogative of admirals*. He’s upset someone.

    *I gather his slip-up was his wife should have been with him on posting but actually spent most of her time UK-side. That’s the sort of thing you’d actually have to go look for. And be incentivised to go look for.

  6. If I recall correctly, it was one of the local curtain-twitchers who dobbed her in.
    Their main residence was meant to be London, but she was spending most of her time in Blandford Forum.

  7. @BlokeInBrum
    And you think his military colleagues at the London end were unaware he had a superfluous wife hanging around the place?

  8. Or to put it differently, conspicuously absent from London. Officers’ wives socialise with officers’ wives. In the job description, far as I’ve heard.

  9. Yep, there’s obviously more to it than meets the eye.
    Shame, if only there existed people who’s job it is to look under the surface and report what they find….

  10. My former immediate neighbour was an ex Air Commodore who openly talked about regularly losing his RAF-issue shades and sending some junior rank to the stores to get him another pair (some fancy design apparently) when he was supposed to pay to replace them, while at the same time busting juniors for the odd bit of mileage. I think my favourite story of his was the one where he regularly took some small RAF jet to Gib with a mate of his on the pretext of inspecting something or other but really so he could play golf there.

    Did not get it at all when I pointed out the contradiction.

  11. went to a sch with plenty of service kiddiwinks. In fact went to a memorable 21st birthday party in Blandford F as mates dad was commandant. Their house was just inside the wire. Had a bouncy castle. Someone chucked everyone’s shoes over the fence. So half were in DJs, ballgowns and bare feet. The perimeter patrol sometime later chucked them back again.

  12. I would have thought that the absent wife had been noticed by more than the ‘nosy’ neighbour. Officers of that rank receive an entertainment allowance to pay for the shedload of social occasions he and his wife were expected to attend or host. It’s possible the future promotion prospects of junior officers were dependent on keeping quiet.

  13. BlokeInBrum said:
    “Their main residence was meant to be London, but she was spending most of her time in Blandford Forum.”

    Good grief, why? It looks nice enough (decent Georgian architecture, amusingly most of it built by the local firm the Bastard Brothers), but it’s full of druggies. No pubs you’d want to go in twice. Nearly as bad as Weymouth.

  14. Surreptitious Evil

    Hmm, reading the article, a slightly different perspective (possibly wrong) on “Welch was retrospectively dismissed from the army, meaning he will not be able to benefit from the rank of retired major general.”

    This is not really a pension thing (although he may have also been reduced in rank or suffer some sort of forfeit of pension – but this is not stated by the Grun’s hugely knowledgeable of the military and meticulously forensic scribblers). This is “dismissed his commission” – so he can’t claim to be Maj Gen (ret) Welch. How much use that sort of thing ever is, or not, I have no idea.

    Also – golf in Gib – really? No courses on the Rock, although there are some good ones not too far away in Spain.

  15. Surreptitious Evil

    but she was spending most of her time in Blandford Forum.

    Boyfriend (or girlfriend) on the staff @ the School or HQ R SIGNALS?

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