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Former Burnley hotel owner on trial
10:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
A FORMER hotel boss from Burnley and two friends are accused of a knuckle-duster attack on an ex-financier linked to a multi-million pound property deal in Dubai.
Mohammed Asjad, a former owner of the Keirby Hotel, Mark Putterill and Ian Williams are alleged to have beaten up 60-year-old Richard Cox at his Scottish home after a contract in the United Arab Emirates went sour, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.
Mr Cox was running Fortune Super Equity Management from an office at the World Trade Centre when Asjad asked him to secure a plot in a development on Dana Island, in Ras al-Khaimah.
The finance boss acted as a go-between the sheikhs and the likes of Asjad, who was looking to secure a £9million stake in the scheme.
The court heard that an approach was made to the Crown Prince of Ras al-Khaimah on Asjad's behalf – but the local economy ‘nose-dived’.
Asjad wrote to Mr Cox and said he wanted to withdraw from the deal – even though the five per cent deposit he had paid was non-refundable.
Prosecutors say Asjad, along with Putterill and Williams, went to Mr Cox’s then-home in Crossford, Fife, in November 2010, intending to ‘menace’ the financier.
The three men are accused of pushing him around, hitting him on the head with a knuckle-duster and threatening him with scissors and demanding the return of three million Arab Emirate dirhams.
He was said to have been forced to sign a contract, promising to repay the money within three weeks, before they cut his phone line, took the battery from his mobile phone and fled with £120 belonging to him.
Asjad, 41, of Reedley Road, Reedley, Putterill, 37, of Colne Road, Nelson, and Williams, of Station Road, Padiham, deny assault, robbery and attempted extortion.