Judge directs not guilty verdict for former Stonea publicans

FORMER publicans Mandy and George Grima were cleared of fraud and abstracting electricity charges when they appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Monday.

A judge directed a not guilty verdict to be recorded after the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence against the couple, who used to run the Golden Lion at Stonea.

Both Mandy, 50, and George, 53, had denied making a false representation to Andy and Christina Swindon between September 6 2010 and November 19 2010, by claiming that the electricity bills at the pub were lower than they were, and as a consequence Andy and Christina Swindon bought the Golden Lion at a loss.

The pair, of Serenity Rear, Golden Lion, Stonea, had also denied abstracting electricity between December 2008 and January 2011.

A trial did not get underway, and the proceedings were halted after several days of legal argument.

Co-defendant and former Christchurch parish councillor Andrew Sweetman, of Tipp’s End near Welney, had earlier admitted one count of abstracting electricity. The date of his sentencing is yet to be set by Cambridge Crown Court.

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