A COUPLE have been charged after a Bournemouth church was allegedly defrauded.

Gillian Rainford, 62, and Gregory Rainford, 66, both of whom live in St Peter's Road in Bournemouth, appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Gillian Rainford is charged with fraud by abuse of position. Prosecutors allege she was working as a treasurer at the Charminster Spiritualist Church when she carried out the offence between April 24 2014 and April 21 2016.

Her co-defendant is charged with concealing, disguising, converting, transferring or removing criminal property. It is alleged the defendant spent money transferred fraudulently from accounts held by the church.

Neither of the defendants has entered a plea. They were given unconditional bail ahead of a plea and trial preparation hearing at Bournemouth Crown Court on August 15.

The church in Charminster Road hosts 'demonstration of mediumship' as well as regular church services.