Douglas Swinden charged with insider dealing

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A former director of Eastern Electricity has been charged with insider dealing under the 1993 Criminal Justice Act, it emerged yesterday. The charges against Douglas Swinden relate to dealings in the shares of Seeboard, another regional electricity company, between June and August 1994, and follow an investigation by the Department of Trade and Industry.

Mr Swinden is charged with having bought 2,000 shares in Seeboard on 1 August 1994, based on price-sensitive information, in a letter sent by Professor Stephen Littlechild, the electricity industry watchdog, to Eastern's chief executive, John Devaney, six weeks earlier.

Mr Swinden faces two alternative charges brought by the DTI, both relating to the alleged acquisition of the Seeboard shares. He was committed for trial by City of London magistrates on 25 April this year but released on bail at a hearing earlier this month. The case will be heard at Middlesex Crown Court on 18 November. He denies all the charges.