Castle Dene former boss theft charge
Mike Weston, 64, is charged with five separate counts of theft from the centre while he managed the complex.
He is accused of taking the cash in batches of £400 over a period of a year.
Weston, of Deaf Hill Terrace, in Trimdon Station, pleaded not guilty to the alleged thefts from Praxis Holdings, the parent company of centre owners Salford Estates, when he appeared at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court.
He elected for a trial at Durham Crown Court, which will take place at a later date.
He will return to the magistrates’ court on August 7 for committal proceedings and was granted unconditional bail.
Weston was granted unconditional bail until his next court appearance.
Weston began working at the centre in 2002 .
He was arrested in October last year after it was claimed cash had been stolen from the centre.
He had been questioned and bailed to a date in December.
But Durham Constabulary said in November that no further action would be taken against him.
However, he was summonsed to court and appeared before justices on Tuesday, June 12.
Salford Estates suspended Weston after the allegation and confirmed he would not be returning to the centre.
A new centre manager was installed at Castle Dene in December last year.
The five counts of theft are alleged to have taken place on August 30, 2010 and last year, on April 25, May 2, May 30 and August 29.
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