Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Defence official accused of corruption over £6,000 wall construction

A defence official in charge of a ВЈ4.5m construction project has been accused of corruption after allegedly forcing a contractor build a ВЈ6,000 wall at his home for free.

Malcolm Spurrell, 56, was overseeing the construction of a new supply depot at Plymouth’s Devonport Dockyard when he apparently asked builders CH Pearce to build the wall.

Costing £6,000, the wall was erected in 2004 at Spurrell’s converted barn at St Johns near Torpoint in east Cornwall.

Spurrell denies corruption, saying he built the wall over a year with his builder brother.

But the Plymouth Crown Court was told this week by prosecutor Nick Lewin there was a “wealth of information to show the company paid for the work on his behalf”.


Defence official accused of corruption over £6,000 wall construction


Lewin said documents showed CH Pearce paid for subcontractors and deliveries that were invoiced to them and sent to Spurrell’s address, reported the BBC.

Spurrell even signed for deliveries, he claimed.

The court also heard that Spurrell had direct control on staged payments made to the building firm for its dockyard work, and could influence future contracts.

Prosecutor Nick Lewin told the court: “His position was very important indeed to them.”

The case continues.