Six due in court today in connection with police probe into missing £10.25m council loan to Northampton Town FC

They are all accused of making undeclared donations to a political party

Friday, 20th August 2021, 6:56 am
Updated Friday, 20th August 2021, 6:58 am
The six are due to appear at Northampton Magistrates Court on Friday

Five men and a woman are due to appear in court on Friday (August 20) in connection with the six-year police investigation into a missing £10.25million loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

Today's court appearances are the first relating to the Northamptonshire Police probe into the disappearance of cash loaned by Northampton Borough Council to Northampton Town FC to pay for the redevelopment of the East Stand at Sixfields.

The six — aged between 47 and 70 and from Buckinghamshire and Middlesex — are charged in respect of offences, dating back to 2014, under Section 54(7) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The defendants are:

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■ Nutan Bhimjiyani, aged 60, and Sharad Bhimjiyani, 65, 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

■ Leonard Western, aged 71, of Holmside Rise, South Oxley, Watford.

A Northamptonshire 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”.

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

All six were all due to appear at Northampton Magistrates' Court last month but the hearing was delayed following applications from two of the defendants.

Proceedings against a seventh defendant, Brijkumar Parekh, will be withdrawn after his solicitors informed detectives their client sadly died earlier this year.