A judge has formally entered a not guilty plea in the case of a landowner accused of breaching an order to remove a caravan from his land.
Resham Maan appeared at Warwick Crown Court facing a charge of failing to comply with an enforcement notice served on him by Rugby Borough Council.
The charge relates to a notice served on him by the council in September last year in relation to land at Broadwell Turn, Broadwell.
It is alleged that Maan, 63, of Brunton Close, Binley, Coventry, failed to comply with an order to remove a static residential caravan and any material not used for agricultural purposes from the site by November 29.
But when the indictment was put to him through a Punjabi interpreter, instead of entering a plea, Maan handed a note to the interpreter who read it out.
In it Maan, who had been advised by a judge in July to get legal representation, complained that he had not yet got legal aid and asked for the hearing to be delayed for 28 days.
Rejecting that request, Judge Alan Parker formally entered a not guilty plea on Maan’s behalf.
He then adjourned the case for trial, but ordered that should take place ‘sufficiently far away in time’ to enable Maan, who was granted bail, to obtain legal aid.
And after the court listing officer had been consulted, Judge Parker said the two-day trial will be listed at the end of March next year, although a pre-trial hearing will take place in November.
At the previous hearing prosecutor Jonathan Salmon said the council was ‘reeling under the weight of a £1m bill’ Maan had submitted for responding to the enforcement notice.
On that occasion Mann claimed through the interpreter that an earlier appearance in the magistrates court had been ‘under duress,’ as would any further crown court appearance.
And Mr Salmon pointed out that Mann also wanted to know whether the crown court ‘complies with the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct.’