Senior Army officer jailed for 21 months

A major general in the Army has been jailed for 21 months.

Senior Army officer jailed for 21 months. He falsely claimed expenses of nearly £50,000. The money was used to pay for his children’s boarding school fees. After a four-week trial at Bulford military court in Wiltshire Major General Nick Welch was convicted on one case of fraud. It is said he is the highest ranking Army official to face a court marshal since 1815.

Also, the court heard how 57-year-old Welch put in expense claims. By saying his family were not living near enough his kid’s schools in Dorset. He put in for the claim of continuity of education allowance (CEA) which amounted to £37,000 and £22,500 at the two respective Dorset schools. However the prosecution stated that his wife, Charlotte, was, in fact, living away from the Army base in London. At their home in Blandford Forum, which is close to both schools.

Sarah Clarke QC, prosecuting, said that Mrs Welch was an active member of clubs in Dorset and, being a “country girl”, spent most of the year there with the children.

The court heard that when Mr Welch found out he had been rumbled the couple hurried back to London.

Later, Clarke said “She cancelled her plans, drove up and spent the week going out and about being seen and being visible in the local area.

He had an obligation not only with the army, but the public, too, to comply with the regulations. And, let’s face it, who is really going to question the word of a major general?” Along with the prison sentence he has now been dismissed from the Army. He has also been ordered to pay back the money he defrauded.

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