THE son of a former JJB Sports chief executive has appeared in court accused of helping his father to use a forged bank statement.
Stuart Jones, whose father Sir David Jones held the top role at the defunct Wigan based sports shop chain, is on trial at Leeds Crown Court this week.
Sir David had been set to face his own fraud trial last year but it was abandoned due to his ill health.
His 40-year-old son, a former marketing manager at JJB, denies the charge.
He is accused of creating the false document to cover up loan from JJB founder Dave Whelan which was not known to the company’s board of directors.
The jury was told that Sir David had received loans of £1.5m each from Mr Whelan and Mike Ashley, owner of the Sports Direct chain.
You are not trying him (Sir David). It’s no secret in this trial that he’s too ill to be tried. He suffers, and has suffered for many years, from Parkinson’sMiranda Moore QC - prosecuting
Miranda Moore QC, prosecuting, said: “You are not trying him (Sir David). It’s no secret in this trial that he’s too ill to be tried. He suffers, and has suffered for many years, from Parkinson’s.”
She said Sir David, who was “heavily in debt”, took out the £1.5m loan from Mr Ashley, whose company was a direct competitor of JJB, at around the same time as the one from Mr Whelan.
The court heard he did not tell the JJB board about the loans but the one from Mr Ashley was discovered in July 2009.
Miss Moore said Sir David told the board that the money from Mr Ashley was not a loan but an investment in one of his companies.
JJB also issued a statement to the market to that effect.
In summer 2009, JJB sold some assets to raise money, including the sale of its fitness centres to DW Sports owner Mr Whelan.
Later the same year, just before JJB was due to go to the market to raise capital, the company became aware of rumours that Sir David had received money from Mr Whelan from the sale of these assets.
Miss Moore said: “Sir David Jones denied categorically in telephone calls and by email that he had ever received any money from Dave Whelan or any of Dave Whelan’s family.”
Miss Moore said Sir David received an email from Stuart Jones that read: “Hi Dad, I’ve sent the bank statement as requested. Love Stuart.”
She said: “That email attaching the forgery was used to back up the lies his father was telling when it was suggested he had taken the loan.”
The trial continues.