Husband and wife former Stonea publicans to stand trial on fraud allegation

HUSBAND and wife former publicans Mandy and George Grima are to stand trial accused of fraud in a case in which a former parish councillor has pleaded guilty.

The couple have pleaded not guilty to two identical charges and their trial is now scheduled to begin at Cambridge Crown Court on February 27.

The Grimas face counts of dishonestly making a false representation to make a gain and also a charge of dishonestly abstracting electricity.

Inquiries have confirmed that, last month, Andrew Edward Sweetman of Tipp’s End near Welney, admitted one count of abstracting electricity. He will be sentenced at the conclusion of the Grimas’ trial.

Sweetman, a former Christchurch parish councillor, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court on August 5.

The Grimas formerly owned and run The Golden Lion public house at Stonea near Manea on the Sixteen Foot Bank.

Three years ago they applied successfully to Fenland District Council to allow them to separate the pub from a neighbouring bungalow which they owned so that they could sell up.

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The bungalow had been used by the couple as their home whilst they let rooms at the pub but permission to split the two had to be applied for since the council had tied both together when planning permission was granted in 2004.

The couple now live in the bungalow having sold the pub last year to a London couple.