Not guilty, plead spy trio

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 3rd April 2013

Three men accused of fraud by false representation in the Olympic Stadium spy case have pleaded not guilty.

Richard Forrest, Lee Stewart and Howard Hill denied all charges relating to an investigation concerning the unlawful procurement of personal information, offences which are said to have taken place in the summer of 2011 shortly after West Ham's original award of 'preferred bidder status' for the Olympic Stadium.

In August of that year, West Ham United called in police to investigate how sensitive data belonging to employees of the club and the now-defunct Olympic Park Legacy Company - data that included personal financial records - had been obtained by outside parties.

It was later claimed that agents working on behalf of Tottenham Hotspur, who were at the time West Ham's rivals for tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, had hired the accused in order to gain information that could potentially undermine United's bid.

The Sunday Times reported in July 2011 how one of the targets of the private investigators, a Ms Dionne Knight, had been spied on at her home which she shared with her teenage daughter.

Ms Knight, who was employed by the OPLC in 2011 was targeted due to her involvement in a personal relationship with Ian Tompkins, West Ham's then-Olympic Director.

The court heard how Hill, who was employed at the time by accountants PFK as an investigator is said to have hired Forrest and Stewart to obtain confidential information belonging to parties involved with West Ham's Olympic bid.

Forrest, Stewart and Hill will appear for trial at Southwark Crown Court on 14th January 2014.

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