Hillgrove trial: Witness for the defence

Richard Hillgrove’s only defence witness, accountant Vimal Shah, gave evidence today at Bristol Crown Court in the PR’s tax fraud trial.

After reading out a statement from his father-in-law about paying for 12 months’ rent in advance and assisting with the Millfield school fees, Mr Hillgrove turned to his current accountant.

Shah told the court that he has been a chartered accountant since 1995 and works for accounting firm PSJ Alexander & Co.

He explained that in October 2011 he had received a referral from Adosh Chatrath of law firm Gates and Partners to look into the Hillgrove Public Relations accounts as they wanted “a second opinion” and advice on business and financial matters.

In November 2011 after sending a professional clearance letter to Bishop Jones, Michelle Bishop provided Shah some draft accounts and VAT returns, in addition to expenses that had not yet been analysed or processed.

“These were put with a question mark over...

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