JJB’s former executive chairman Sir David Jones took out £3m in loans from Sports Direct’s Mike Ashley and JJB’s founder Dave Whelan “possibly due to gambling”, a jury has heard.
Jones went on trial on Tuesday along with his son Stuart. He is accused of making false statements to the market in relation to two £1.5m loans.
According to the Telegraph, jurors at Leeds Crown Court were told the first loan was from Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley and the second was from Dave Whelan, the founder of JJB Sports who subsequently left the business.
Jurors were told Jones was a well-known figure in the retail industry due to his part in “turning around the fortunes of Next”.
The accusations relate to when Jones was executive chairman of sports chain JJB in 2009.
Prosecutor Miranda Moore QC said: “Unfortunately, what the board of JJB did not know was that Sir David Jones was heavily in debt, possibly due to gambling, and he would, just after his appointment, take out substantial loans from two people who could be regarded as JJB competitors.”
The 71-year-old Jones denies two charges of making a misleading statement, contrary to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, and one of using a false instrument, contrary to the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
Stuart Jones, 39, denies one charge of aiding and abetting his father’s use of a false instrument.
The judge has adjourned the case until Wednesday. He told the jury that Jones was not able to follow what was happening in the case due to his condition. Jones suffers from Parkinsons.
Judge Kearl said: “There will be times when he’s simply unable to follow the course of proceedings. When that happens, it’s not right, it’s not fair, it’s not proper to continue the trial at this stage. I emphasise, this is not his fault. It is the fault of the condition he has.”