The trial of the former executive chairman of JJB Sports, Sir David Jones, has been postponed until February 2015 due to Jones’ ill health.
The veteran retailer, who made his name turning around the Next stores, is accused of forging a bank statement to disguise the fact he had borrowed £1.5m from JJB founder Dave Whelan when he was heavily in debt “possibly due to gambling”.
However, yesterday the judge, Guy Kearl QC, told the jury at Leeds Crown Court the case was to be abandoned for the time being and a new trial date has been set for next spring.
Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said Jones lied about the cash to the board of JJB Sports and, as a result, the company put out misleading statements at a time when they were trying to raise £100m on the stock market.
The court heard the company secured the £100m it needed because “the market was satisfied they were a good bet”, and as part of the flotation Jones secured a £100,000 bonus.
Jones denies two charges of making a misleading statement and one of using a false instrument.
Jones’ son Stuart is accused of helping his father to forge the bank statement in 2009. He also denies the charge.