Director leaked Brent Walker figures: Court hears how former Goldcrest head gave documents to police (CORRECTED)

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The Independent Online
CORRECTION (PUBLISHED 7 OCTOBER 1994) APPENDED TO THIS ARTICLE

A COMPANY director was accused of 'filching' Brent Walker accounting figures to leak them to police, at the George Walker fraud trial yesterday.

John Chambers, former managing director of film company Goldcrest, which was bought by Mr Walker's property-to-leisure group in 1987, secretly copied documents and handed them to the Serious Fraud Office, Southwark Crown Court was told.

Mr Chambers, who resigned as Goldcrest's managing director after the takeover but was allowed to use the offices for four months, said he had photocopied or taken originals of 62 documents.

He said he had a separate office from Goldcrest's accountant but would view Brent Walker film sales papers when staff were not there.

Mr Chambers said his secretary could verify his account. He usually photocopied documents in the morning before everyone arrived.

He admitted he would take copies or originals of 'just those that interested me'. But he denied other documents had been kept from the SFO by him.

The court heard that when Mr Chambers resigned from Goldcrest he received a pounds 60,000 golden handshake, pension rights worth another pounds 10,000, and was able to buy his Mercedes company car.

Mr Chambers admitted Brent Walker got a very good deal, including Goldcrest's film library rights.

He agreed he was 'a bitterly disappointed man' when his company was taken over by Brent Walker. But he denied that bitterness had resulted in his taking documents and copying them.

Mr Walker and his group finance director, Wilfred Aquilina, jointly deny conspiracy to falsify accounts, two offences of false accounting and one charge of theft. In addition, Mr Walker, alone, pleads not guilty to three offences of theft, and Mr Aquilina, alone, denies a further charge of false accounting. The trial continues tomorrow.

CORRECTION

John Chambers, former managing director of Goldcrest, gave evidence for the prosecution at the George Walker trial on 14 June, as we reported the next day. We accept that the report was inaccurate in several respects and did not fairly reflect the greater part of Mr Chambers' evidence or the events which he described.

We are happy to acknowledge that our original report gave a misleading impression with apologies to Mr Chambers.

(Photograph omitted)

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