THE trial of a golf professional at a Winchester course accused of defrauding the club out of green fees and money raised from pro-am charity events has been pushed back.

Steven Hunter, of Mill Lane, Abbots Worthy, was head professional at Royal Winchester Golf Club in Winchester when the alleged crimes took place.

The 54-year-old has been charged with fraud by abuse of position, fraud by false representation, false accounting, tax fraud and obtaining a money transfer by deception.

He was due to stand trial at Winchester Crown Court next month, but this has now been delayed.

Today (Wednesday) during a hearing at the court the Recorder of Winchester, Judge Angela Morris, set a new, provisional trial date of May 30. It is expected to last four weeks.

In his position, Hunter was responsible for running the golf shop and collecting the £60 a time green fees - which are paid by visiting golfers for a round.

He faces a charge of defrauding the club of green fees between June 2013 and June 2018.

He is also charged with stealing money from two charity pro-am event days between June 2017 and October 2018 held in memory of a longstanding member of the golf club which was founded in 1888.

The court was told that Hunter is accused of false accounting by using bank account ledgers in his name and Steven Hunter Golf Shops Ltd, which he allegedly knew or might have been misleading, false or deceptive, between January 2013 and March 2019.

It is claimed that he also cheated HM Revenue and Customs out of the tax payable on the retainer payments under the contract between himself and the golf club between January 2013 and March 2019.

In addition, he is also charged with dishonestly obtaining a re-mortgage on Loch Avon, Shawford, by stating that his earnings for 2005-2006 were £205,000.