BOURNEMOUTH council's former IT manager has appeared before the courts charged with fraud.

Robert Young, of Heathfield Way in West Moors, was working in a senior role at town hall between August 27 2012 and December 31 2016 when the alleged offence occurred.

Prosecutors claim he abused his position with the intent of making £290,000 for himself.

Young, 42, is also charged with concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property, namely electrical items, by selling them via third parties.

He has not yet entered pleas to either of the charges against him.

On Friday afternoon, Young appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court for a preliminary hearing.

The defendant, who wore a black suit with a checked shirt, spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

When asked if he would be choosing to plead at the hearing, he replied: "No plea."

Prosecutor Lee Turner claimed Young had ordered electrical items, which were then delivered to the defendant's office and home address. The items were sold on to others, he claimed.

"This matter is not suitable for summary trial," Mr Turner said.

Magistrates replied: "We agree.

"This should be sent to the crown court."

The court heard another man at the council had also fallen under police scrutiny during the investigation. The second man was released without further action, it was heard.

Young will appear before a judge at Bournemouth Crown Court in May for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

He is on unconditional bail.

Speaking after the hearing, Bill Cotton, executive director for the environment and economy at Bournemouth Borough Council, said: “Robert Young is no longer an employee.

"The council has insurance arrangements in place to cover any proven losses from such circumstances.”