BOURNEMOUTH businessman Richard Carr and four other defendants facing a total of 75 criminal charges made their first appearance at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday.

Carr, 55, of Lagoon Road, Poole, faces 41 counts including being involved in the formation, promotion or management of a company while bankrupt, concealing property from the receiver of his estate, mortgage fraud, forgery and theft of nearly £250,000.

Also accused of related crimes – Dene Norman Burgess, 56, and Susan Burgess, 51, both of Banks Road, Poole, and James Beedham, 38, of Bridle Crescent, Bournemouth – were joined for the first time in court by a fifth defendant, 47-year-old Adrian Price of Alington Road, Poole, as he was absent from the magistrates court hearing.

Prosecuting on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Shane Collery said the papers for the case totalled some 12,000 pages and followed an investigation which “has been on-going for some time”.

None of the defendants entered a plea and the case was adjourned for documents to be prepared until the summer, when they are expected to be arraigned.

Defending Price, Nicholas Robinson said they may yet apply for the case to be heard in a different court.

Carr’s alleged offences include theft from Future 3000 plc – which operated local bars and clubs Dundees, Mint, Wiggle, Bliss, Toko, Jimmys, Bent and Crank – and concealing the power boat ‘Honey Party’ and several gold watches after being declared bankrupt.

Dene Burgess, Carr and Price are jointly accused of obtaining an advance of £860,000 on a mortgage from the Bank of Scotland by deception, while Beedham faces 19 counts of aiding Richard Carr in the formation, promotion or management of a business while the latter was bankrupt.

Susan Burgess and Carr are jointly charged with three counts of making a false instrument, and two of obtaining a money transfer by deception, among other offences.

All five defendants were released on conditional bail to return to court on July 7.