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Leading councillor is in court on fraud charges
12:40pm Friday 5th April 2013 in News
A WYCHAVON district councillor said she was embarrassed and humiliated to find herself facing fraud charges.
Emma Stokes, who represents the Bengeworth ward in Evesham, was one of four people who appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The 52-year-old Conservative councillor from the Leys in Evesham is charged along with 70-year-old Christopher Sandison, of Church End Court, Upton-upon-Severn; Stephen Black, 58, of Lockside Drive, Kinver, near Kidderminster; and Claudia Black, 56, of Showell Green, Droitwich.
They each face two charges under the Financial Services and Markets Act.
The charges are that they dishonestly concealed facts to induce another to enter into an agreement and recklessly made a misleading, false and deceptive statement to induce another to enter into an agreement.
None of the defendants entered a plea and the case was transferred to the city’s crown court where a plea and case management hearing will be held on Monday, April 29.
After the case Stokes, who is an executive board member for environment and contracted services, issued a statement saying that she was embarrassed and humiliated to find herself before the court.
She added that she would vigorously deny the two alleged offences, which date back to 2006.
“It is with sincere embarrassment and humiliation that I have found myself caught up in a series of civil and criminal investigations.
“I apologise for any embarrassment caused to my family, friends and to the council and ask that judgement of my character be made upon knowing the defence and the outcome of any trial.”
All the defendants were released on unconditional bail.
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