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Major, 47, who defrauded Army out of £13,000 sacked from the forces

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 08/03/2021 Lydia Catling and Sam Baker For Mailonline
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An MBE-winning major who blamed his 'mid-life crisis' for defrauding the Army out of £13,000 has been sacked from the forces. 

Major Lloyd Hamilton, who illegally claimed taxpayers' money to send his children to one of the UK's most expensive boarding schools, argued his 'special domestic circumstances' were enough to prevent dismissal. 

The 47-year-old Royal Engineer, who has an MBE for charity work, was stationed in Cyprus when he duped the MoD by illegally claiming for private school fees.

a man sitting in a car: Major Lloyd Hamilton (pictured outside Bulford Military Court last month) has been sacked from the forces after he argued his 'special circumstances' were enough to prevent dismissal © Provided by Daily Mail Major Lloyd Hamilton (pictured outside Bulford Military Court last month) has been sacked from the forces after he argued his 'special circumstances' were enough to prevent dismissal

Hamilton was only eligible for the allowance as long as his Cambridge-educated IBM manager wife Liz was living with him.

But after the breakdown of their marriage she stayed at their £500,000 four bedroom home in Hamble, Hampshire.

Hamilton continued to claim the cash to send his two children to the £49,875 a year Queen Elthelburga's Collegiate in Yorkshire but last month was convicted of fraud.

At Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, his barrister David Richards admitted 'it's a lot of money' but pleaded for Hamilton not to be dismissed.

'On any view, Major Hamilton was going through a crisis, his personal life was collapsing', Mr Richards said.

'There's blame on all sides when a relationship falls apart like this, and there may well have been some blame on him.

a man wearing a uniform standing in front of a car: The major, who is said to have been going through a 'mid-life crisis' defrauded the Army out of £13,000 after he illegally claimed private school allowance for his children © Provided by Daily Mail The major, who is said to have been going through a 'mid-life crisis' defrauded the Army out of £13,000 after he illegally claimed private school allowance for his children

'But another aspect that was going on was his mental health. He was uncertain where he was going in both his private and professional life.

'Some would describe it as, perhaps, a mid-life crisis.

'This is not a man who needs a break from the Army, the Army is his life. There was a loss of direction and he felt under considerable pressure.

'There was a deterioration in both his mental and physical health.'

Mr Richards added: 'He has an MBE for his charity work... he has been scrupulously honest with charity money.'

He also said: 'This is a man who has served to the highest level of integrity, endeavour and commitment in his time at the Army.'

a large brick building with grass in front of a house: After the breakdown of the couple's marriage, Major Hamilton's wife stayed at their £500,000 four bedroom home in Hamble, Hampshire © Provided by Daily Mail After the breakdown of the couple's marriage, Major Hamilton's wife stayed at their £500,000 four bedroom home in Hamble, Hampshire

As well as an MBE, Hamilton held a number of medals including an Iraq medal, a United Nations medal for work in Yugoslavia, the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal.

Despite his plea, the officer was dismissed from the Army.

Judge Advocate General Alan Large also imposed a three month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

Judge Large said: 'Despite all of the mitigation.. when you consider the issues they are so serious that you must be dismissed from the service.

'The amount, which was not an insignificant sum, was defrauded from your employer and the sum involved relates to a very valuable allowance afforded to service personnel for private schools, which is hard to achieve for many people.

a person wearing a uniform standing in front of a building: At Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, his barrister David Richards admitted 'it's a lot of money' but pleaded for Hamilton (pictured) not to be dismissed © Provided by Daily Mail At Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, his barrister David Richards admitted 'it's a lot of money' but pleaded for Hamilton (pictured) not to be dismissed

'It's a tough sentence with a degree of deterrence in kind.

'We acknowledge that it will have a significant impact on you personally with the loss of your lifetime career.'

Hamilton, who was based at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus and denied fraud, illegally claimed £12,964 between January and August 2018 when he knew his wife would not be coming to live with him.

Throughout the 12-month period there were 'substantial difficulties' in the couple's relationship and Maj Hamilton told his wife he thought it was best if she remained in the UK.

Over the course of the trial the court heard he told friends he 'didn't want to continue walking blindly through life' just for the children and wanted a divorce.

a sign on the side of a road: Despite his plea, the officer was dismissed from the Army and Judge Advocate General Alan Large also imposed a three month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Pictured: Bulford Military Court © Provided by Daily Mail Despite his plea, the officer was dismissed from the Army and Judge Advocate General Alan Large also imposed a three month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Pictured: Bulford Military Court

In text messages sent in September 2017 his wife, a Cambridge educated IBM manager, begged him to give their marriage a chance.

She said: 'I love you and want to try and stay married. I would be lost without you please don't stop talking to me I love you.'

Prosecutors said trips made to Cyprus by Mrs Hamilton were taken just to maintain the 'facade' that they were still together.

Hamilton's two children, a daughter aged 12 and in year 7, and a son, then 10, and in year 5, both attended Queen Elthelburga's.

Hamilton, a founding member of tri-service charity Toe in the Water, was cleared of a separate fraud charge related to him claiming £25,964 after the court heard evidence he made claims while believing his marriage would survive and that his wife would join him in the Mediterranean.

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