East Anglian film boss charged with theft

The former finance director of an East Anglian film-making initiative has been charged with five counts of theft.

Mervin Welton, 61, of Jasmine Gardens, in Bradwell, was arrested in October shortly after Screen East, which had an office at the Forum, Norwich, went into administration.

Today Norfolk police charged Welton with five specimen offences. He is accused of stealing �7,500 between April 2006 and July 2010.

Screen East is no longer operating because of financial difficulties.

Screen East's remit included promoting the East of England as an ideal location for film and television production, attracting investment by marketing the locations, facilities, skills and expertise available in the region.

The 2008 film Dean Spanley, starring Peter O'Toole and Sam Neill, was among the movies it has invested in. The film, shot at locations including Peckover House, Wisbech; Holkham Hall, Eleveden Hall and Elm Hill, Norwich, was the first to receive money from Screen East's �2.25m content investment fund.

Other films shot in Norfolk include The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley and shot in Holkham, and Stardust with Robert De Niro in Elm Hill.