A RESTAURATEUR will appear before a crown court judge next month after 'not paying appropriate levels of VAT'.

Sharif Mohammed Khaled, of Penn Hill Avenue in Poole, has been charged with being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, knowingly fraudulently evading contributions and knowingly being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax.

Prosecutors say the allegations relate to a period between May 2015 and December 2018.

Khaled, 38, is a director at A. S. A. Restaurateurs Ltd, which owns Indian restaurant Cafe Spice in Bridge Street, Sturminster Newton.

The cafe won a Tripadvisor excellence award in 2018.

The defendant appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

He has not yet entered a plea to the charges again him and will next appear at Bournemouth Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing on February 6.