Jobs agency owners in court

The joint owners of a Norfolk employment agency appeared in court yesterday in connection with an alleged £970,000 VAT fraud.Peter Wing, 52, and Amanda Gilding, 33, who own Swaffham-based Staffhire, appeared before central Norfolk magistrates charged with conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue and Customs between September 2002 and October 2005.

The joint owners of a Norfolk employment agency appeared in court yesterday in connection with an alleged £970,000 VAT fraud.

Peter Wing, 52, and Amanda Gilding, 33, who own Swaffham-based Staffhire, appeared before central Norfolk magistrates charged with conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue and Customs between September 2002 and October 2005.

Wing, of Meadow Road, Narborough, near Swaffham, and Gilding, of The Oaklands, Swaffham, appeared alongside three other co-defendants Grant Hudson, 48, of Glossop in Derbyshire, Robert Peace, 50, of Barnsley in South Yorkshire and Michael Cooper, 51, of Stoke-on-Trent.

A sixth co-defendant Michael Bignell, 56, of Rotherham, was not in court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The five defendants who appeared yesterday were released on conditional bail to reside at their home addresses and Wing and Cooper were told they had to inform prosecutors 48 hours before leaving the country.

The case was adjourned to August 28 at Norwich Crown Court.

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Sending the case on, presiding magistrate Gerry Burns told the five defendants: “This matter is beyond our jurisdiction, therefore I am sending this to the crown court at Norwich.”

Wing is a well-known businessman in Swaffham, who has been involved with running a string of premises in the town, including Swaffham Motorsports, the Norfolk Portuguese Club, the White Hart and the Goldmine as well as serving as chairman of the town's football club.

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