Three face trial for grant fraud

News Posted 25/06/18
Three men facing fraud charges brought by DEFRA have been committed for trial at Maidstone crown court.

Simon Francis Fitch, of 70, Old Hadlow Road, Tonbridge; Alan Robin Turney, of Pools Barn Farm, Little Alne, Henley-in-Arden; and Andrew John Wills, of 3 Churchyard Cottages, Barden Road, Speldhurst, appeared before Maidstone magistrates on Friday 1 June.

Mr William Dean, on behalf of DEFRA, said the case related to applications to the Rural Payments Agency for more than £2 million of rural development grant money.

The magistrates were told that Fitch (45) was expected to plead guilty to one of two charges he faces; Turney (39) was expected to plead not guilty to two charges; and Wills (47) was expected to deny one charge. All the charges relate to making or supplying articles for use in fraud.

They agreed to commit the defendants to crown court for trial after Mr Dean said the case was “far too complex and serious” to be heard by the magistrates. They were due to appear on Friday 29 June. All the defendants were allowed unconditional bail.

Photo: On the right is Andrew Wills at Maidstone magistrates court ©Martin Apps, Countrywide Photographic

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