Couple face retrial over '£30m timeshare fraud'

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The Independent Online

A timeshare businessman and his girlfriend face a retrial after an eight-month fraud hearing collapsed yesterday at the Old Bailey in London.

John Palmer, 50, and Christina Ketley, 40, had denied involvement in an alleged £30m timeshare fraud in Tenerife. During the hearing, estimated to have cost £12m, it was alleged that 17,000 victims, many of them British, had been defrauded of their savings.

After legal discussions, Judge Gordon discharged the jury of nine women and three men from giving verdicts against the couple. He gave no reasons, but said they would continue to hear the case against five co-defendants, Simon Stevens, 36, Malcolm Watsford-Wallace, 52, Michael Harbison, 35, Martin Addington-Smith, 48, and Alexander Thompson, 52. They all plead not guilty to conspiracy to defraud.