Ex-boss of JJB Sports denies fraud charges

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Retail grandee Sir David Jones has appeared before a crown court judge to deny three counts of fraud.

The 70-year-old former boss of JJB Sports, who had success at Next in the 1990s, was at Leeds Crown Court where he faced two counts of making a misleading statement, contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act, and one count of using a false instrument, contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act.

The charges refer to the period between July and October 2009 when he was executive chairman of JJB Sports.

He said not guilty to each of the three charges when they were read out by the clerk.

Jones, of Ilkley, West Yorkshire, will stand trial next year.

The trial is expected to take up to five weeks, with extra time allowed as the former retail expert has Parkinson’s disease.

His son Stuart Jones, 39, of Bingley, West Yorkshire, who was JJB’s head of marketing, appeared before the same court but did not enter pleas to the charges he will face. He will do so at a hearing next month.

Sir David came into court carrying two copies of his autobiography Next To Me.

The charges of making a misleading statement referred to £1.5m loans received from fellow sportswear giants Dave Whelan and Mike Ashley. The charges relate to stock market announcements.

The false instrument charge related to an allegedly false bank statement.