January 10, 2022 5.30 pm

Former Spalding United chairman misses court date over fraud charges

He wasn’t tech-savvy enough to join the case via video link

The fraud case of a Lincolnshire man involved in an investment scheme worth about £4 milllion has today (Monday) been before crown court for the first time.

Christopher Toynton – a former long-time chairman of Spalding United Football Club – is jointly charged with two co-defendants in relation to the Lottery Syndicate Club Ltd, which operated in the town.

Toynton, 72, of Horseshoe Road, Spalding, is accused of fraud by abuse of position – namely as the investment scheme manager and company director – between November 1, 2017 and March 31, 2019.

He and co-accused Ross Gibson, 26, are accused of money laundering (using criminal property to buy items for personal use). Gibson faces a count of fraud by false representation.

Both defendants and 60-year-old Philip Cavener are charged with carrying on a regulated activity when not an authorised or exempt person.

Toynton, 72, did not appear before Lincoln Crown Court today, as anticipated.

The hearing was told that he was currently self-isolating and was not tech savvy enough to partake via a video link.

Barrister James Bourne-Arton said: “He’s isolating having been contacted by Test and Trace.

“His technology skills are not sufficiently good for him for him to be relied upon to attend.”

The period of isolation for Toynton was due to expire at midnight, added Mr Bourne-Arton.

Gibson, of Eve Lane, Upper Gornal, Dudley, and Cavener, of Douglas Road, Bedford, did appear and entered not guilty pleas to all counts.

The case was adjourned for trial, expected to last between eight and ten weeks, beginning on October 24, 2022. A pre-trial review hearing is scheduled for September 16.

The judge directed that Toynton would have to appear on that date to formally enter his pleas, which Mr Bourne-Arton said would be not guilty on all counts.

All three defendants remain on unconditional bail.

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