Closing speeches in defence of north Suffolk men accused of antique engine deceptions

A trial of two north Suffolk men accused of obtaining over �150,000 by deceiving an American collector about antique gas engines will today move into its third week.

The trial - which centre's around the engine's not being the genuine antiques they were described as to the collector - started on Tuesday, July 5 and saw a sapping day of closing speeches for its jury to absorb at Norwich Crown Court yesterday.

Suffolk-based engine expert Stephen Green of The Walks, Aldeby, near Beccles, has denied any involvement in receiving cash for collectable gas engines which he knew were not genuine.

He is accused of conspiring with Darren Starks, of Millbank, Lowestoft, in the sale of three anti-static engines and an attempted sale of a fourth between 2003 and 2008 to serious Texas-based collector Ray Ellison.

Both men deny three counts of obtaining a money transfer by deception and one count of attempting to obtain a money transfer by deception. Starks, 43, also denies a money-laundering charge after it was alleged thousands of pounds from the sale of the engines was put through an off-shore account he held.

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Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, spoke for almost two hours to refresh the jury's minds of the details of the case yesterday - describing Green, 49, as one of 'the premiere engine dealers in this country'.

He pointed to a number of inconsistencies in evidence given by Green and Starks in their police interviews and said this was because the pair 'were not singing from the same hymn sheet'.

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Stephen Spence, for Green, then questioned how definitive some of the prosecution's evidence was - including his client being identified in connection with a theft he was not convicted of in Manchester in 2003 - and told the jury that if the accusation levelled at the pair by the prosecution were true, then they had made 'pretty fundamental, stupid mistakes.'

This morning Starks' barrister Michael Clare is set to give his closing defence speech before judge Peter Jacobs sums up the case and sends out the jury to consider their verdict.

The trial continues.

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