£5m fraud trial begins

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A Market Rasen town councillor is one of eight people who were allegedly part of a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers out of more than £5 million.

David Strachan, of Peak Mews, Market Rasen, is one of eight individuals facing charges at Hull Crown Court of conspiring to evade paying excise duty on Government-subsidised fuels between March 1 2006 and March 30 2012.

They also face one charge of conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty’s Revenue.

The trial started last week.

The other seven individuals facing charges are: Michael Wilmot, 71, of Low Road, Kirkby-cum-Osgodby; Charles Trafford, 59, of Kirkby-cum-Osgody; Derek Blackburn, 59, of Station Road, Moortown; Tracie Morton, 50, of Toft-next-Newton; John Raithby, 58, of Snitterby Road, Waddingham; Marion Tompkins, 57, of Little Tows; and Michael Taylor, 38, of Waterloo Street, Market Rasen.

John Raithby is accused of cheating Her Majesty’s Revenue which he denies. All of them deny the charges

It is alleged that Trafford, a farmer, bought red diesel - which he was entitled to use - but then supplied it to others through a number of companies totalling more than 35.

It is alleged that Michael Wilmot was the main buyer of the diesel from Trafford - using names and addresses of the other defendants.

The trial is set to last up to two months.