May 5, 2022 3.30 pm This story is over 24 months old

Lincolnshire stonemason finally in court over headstone con

His trial has been adjourned three times due to COVID

A Lincolnshire based stonemason who is accused of failing to supply memorial headstones to his customers after getting into financial trouble has today (Thursday) appeared at Lincoln Crown Court.

Julian Karl Gaunt, 53, had been due to go on trial at Lincoln Crown Court in April 2020 – but the hearing was adjourned because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was the third time Gaunt’s trial had been adjourned after it was originally listed in June 2019.

A judge then issued an arrest warrant for Gaunt in May last year after he failed to attend a pre-trial hearing and keep in touch with his solicitors.

Gaunt, who is being prosecuted by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, appeared before Judge John Pini QC in July last year after a police appeal was made to locate him.

His trial is now due to be listed at Lincoln Crown Court on May 16. It is estimated to last four days.

Gaunt today (Thursday) appeared at Lincoln Crown Court for a pre-trial hearing and spoke only to confirm his name.

At a previous court hearing in November 2018, Gaunt, then of Queen’s Road, Spalding, pleaded not guilty to eight charges of fraud.

The alleged offences related to the supply and erection of memorial headstones on dates between October 20, 2015 and July 22, 2016.

He also denied a further charge of theft of a memorial headstone between July 1 and December 31, 2016.

Gaunt was granted unconditional bail by Judge Pini QC.