x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Stewart Downing gives evidence against former agent in fraud case

York Crown Court has heard how the agent of the Aston Villa winger Ian Elliott allegedly siphoned off large amounts of money.

YORK, ENGLAND // A Premier League footballer was forced to reveal his spending habits to a jury yesterday - including £45,000 (Dh268,000) spent on a home cinema.

Aston Villa's Stewart Downing, 26, was giving evidence on the second day of the trial of his former agent, who is accused of fraud.

York Crown Court has heard how Ian Elliott allegedly siphoned off large amounts of money from one of Downing's bank accounts to prop up his failing business projects. Downing confirmed an account had in excess of £2 million going through it.

He also confirmed £136,000 had left the account to pay for a variety of luxury items.

As well as the home cinema, he spent £30,000 on a home extension, £6,000 on a walk-in wardrobe and £45,000 on a conservatory. The former Middlesbrough midfielder told the jury the account should have had £600,000 to £700,000 in it from his earnings. He said a firm of accountants discovered just £11,000 in the account.

Downing said there was a "massive amount" of money going into the account and he would have expected to see more than a few thousand pounds.

"If you look at the money that had gone out, there should have been more than £11,000," he told the jury during cross-examination. Robin Patton, defending Elliott, responded by saying: "That's if you know what you are doing with your money."

* Press Association