By lex, on August 5th, 2011
A Royal Navy submarine officer has been dismissed the service and sentenced to six months in jail for fraudulently collecting benefits:
A navy commander has been jailed for six months for dishonestly claiming £53,000 in allowances to send his two children to an exclusive boarding school.
Anthony Gray, a nuclear submarine expert, was also dismissed from the Royal Navy and told to pay the money back.
Sentencing him at a court martial in Portsmouth on Friday , Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor said: “This was a gross breach of trust such as you cannot remain as an officer in the Royal Navy.”
Speaking on behalf of the board of senior officers that tried the case and determined the sentence, he added: “We understand the devastating consequences on you and your family. The clang of the prison door will be your greatest punishment.”
Gray, 49, had claimed the money when he was not entitled to do so because he had split from his wife and was therefore no longer the “prime carer” of his two children.
I was a little surprised to learn that the RN pays benefits for private school education. But what really popped my eyebrows was this statement by the judge:
Harris said Gray had “dishonestly” completed the application forms to receive the benefit and added: “This is not a marine who struggles with literacy or difficult concepts, this is a senior naval officer.”
Hizzoner had better keep a sharp lookout for the bootneck set. They can be a tetch sensitive about invidious comparisons based on class or service.