Son of ex-JJB boss cleared of fraud

Picture shows Stuart Jones, son of former JJB Sports boss Sir David Jones, arriving at Leeds Crown Court charged with aiding and abetting his father's use of a false instrument. ''Ian Hinchliffe / Rossparry.co.uk
Picture shows Stuart Jones, son of former JJB Sports boss Sir David Jones, arriving at Leeds Crown Court charged with aiding and abetting his father's use of a false instrument. ''Ian Hinchliffe / Rossparry.co.uk
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THE son of former JJB boss Sir David Jones has been cleared of helping his father forge a bank statement to cover-up £1.5m loans.

A jury at Leeds Crown Court heard Stuart Jones maintained he did not know the bank statement in question was a forgery.

The former JJB marketing manager suggested his father, among others, could have been responsible.

Sir David was due to stand trial on his own fraud charges last year but the case was halted because of his ill-health.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) confirmed Mr Jones, 40, of Bingley, West Yorkshire, had been found not guilty.

Earlier in the trial, the court heard Sir David had received loans of £1.5m each from JJB founder Dave Whelan and Mike Ashley, owner of the Sports Direct chain.

Mr Jones was accused of creating a false document to cover up these loans which were not known to the company’s board of directors.

But one of the loans was discovered in 2009 and Sir David told the board that the money from Mr Ashley was not a loan but an investment in one of his companies and JJB also issued a statement to the market to that effect.

Sir David, who was chief executive of the Martland Park based firm between 2009 and 2010, suffers from Parkinson’s disease and the court had been told this affects his movements and his ability to concentrate.

He had pleaded not guilty to two charges but the trial was abandoned in April last year as he suffers from Parkinson’s disease.