A senior Army officer has been ordered to forfeit his seniority as a brigadier at a court martial sentencing.

Brigadier Charles Beardmore has also been ordered to pay £11,750 compensation to the Ministry of Defence, and will also be severely reprimanded.

He was accused of breaching Army rules for claiming money for his two sons' school fees by a court martial.

Brig Charles Beardmore, 51, admitted a single charge of negligently performing his duty at a previous hearing.

Prosecutor Colonel Nigel Jones has previously said there was no suggestion of dishonesty.

The Royal Armor Medical Corps Brigadier, of Whittington, Staffordshire, had claimed Continuity of Education Allowance for his sons without declaring that his wife had not been living at the same address as him for more than 90 days in a single year.

Continuity of Education Allowance can be claimed by certain service personnel to help pay for boarding school fees. 

The current rates allow for claims of £5,470 per term for a junior school and £7,245 per term for a senior school.

Brigadiers are senior to colonels and outranked only by generals, with a starting salary of £101,147.

Brig Beardmore is reportedly the most senior officer to face prosecution by the British Army since 1952, when Brig Mike Calvert was found guilty of gross indecency with men.

This happened 15 years before homosexuality was decriminalised, and the WW2 commander denied the charge until his death in 1998.

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