Quintet accused of donating £10,000 to ex-Northampton MP's campaign fund without disclosing source appear in court

Charges brought following the high-profile police investigation into Cobblers 'missing millions' scandal

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:16 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 11:18 am

Five people accused of donating £10,000 to the campaign fund of a former Northampton MP without disclosing where it came from appeared in court today (Wednesday, October 6).

The four men and one woman from Buckinghamshire and Middlesex all appeared at Northampton Crown Court regarding offences relating to donations to Northampton South Conservative Association in 2014.

Leonard Western, 71, of Holmside Rise, South Oxley, Watford, and Gary Platt, 65, of West Drive, Harrow, pleaded not guilty while the rest did not enter pleas.

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Northampton Crown Court

The other defendants are Nutan Bhimjiyani, 60, and Sharad Bhimjiyani, 65, both of Headstone Lane, Harrow, and Nirav Vinodray Sheth, 47, of Uppingham Avenue, Stanmore. They were all remanded on unconditional bail.

The charges were brought following the high-profile police investigation into the disappearance of money from a £13.5 million Northampton Borough Council loan to Northampton Town Football Club.

The police probe into what became of £10.25m of the cash loaned to Northampton Town to fund building a new East Stand at Sixfields is now nearing the end of its sixth year and has cost more than £1.5m.

In August, Alan Mayfield, who was charged alongside the five other defendants with the same offence, was fined £6,000 at Northampton Magistrates' Court after pleading guilty - described as the first prosecution of its kind in the UK.

The court heard the 65-year-old, of Hill Farm Road, Chalfont St Peter, got the £10,000 from his friend, Howard Grossman - the property developer banned from running companies for 10 years in 2019 over his conduct in the 'missing millions' scandal.

Mayfield then donated the cash to the Conservative association for David Mackintosh's campaign fund in 2014 without disclosing the source of the money.