Court date delayed for six charged in connection with police probe into missing £10.25m council loan to Northampton Town FC

They are all accused of making undeclared donations to Northampton conservatives

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:21 pm

Friday's court appearance by five men and a woman in connection with a long-running police investigation into the missing £10.25m borough council loan to Northampton Town FC has been adjourned.

Northamptonshire Police announced the first hearings relating to the investigation were due to take place at Northampton Magistrates Court on Friday (July 16) almost six years after detectives began a criminal investigation into the disappearance of cash which was supposed to pay for re-development of the club's East Stand at Sixfields.

But Friday's hearing has been delayed after applications from two of the defendants.

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Borough council money loaned to Northampton Town was meant to pay for the new East stand at Sixfields

Six people, aged between 47 and 70 and from Buckinghamshire and Middlesex, have been charged with offences dating back to 2014 under Section 54(7) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The defendants are:

■ Nutan Bhimjiyani, aged 60, and 65-year-old Sharad Bhimjiyani, both of Headstone Lane, Harrow

■ Nirav Vinodray Sheth, aged 47, of Uppingham Avenue, Stanmore

■ Gary Platt, aged 65, of West Drive, Harrow

■ Alan Mayfield, aged 64, of Hill Farm Road, Chalfont St Peter, Gerrards Cross

■ Leonard Western, aged 70, of Holmside Rise, South Oxley, Watford

According to Northamptonshire Police, proceedings against a seventh defendant, Brijkumar Parekh, will be withdrawn after his solicitors informed detectives that their client died earlier this year.

Any person providing a donation over £500 to a political party is legally required to give details of the source of the funds.

The Police spokesperson said: "Charges allege they “without reasonable cause, being the principal donor of a donation of more than £500 to a registered party, namely Northampton South Conservative Association, failed to ensure that, at the time when the donation was received by the party, the party was given all such details in respect of the person treated as making the recordable donation as were required by virtue of paragraph 2 or 2A of Schedule 6 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000”.