A FORMER Ellesmere pub manager may face a ‘lengthy’ spell in jail after admitting he committed fraud costing nearly £2 million.

Christopher Peach, 51, was formerly manager of the Black Lion pub in Scotland Street, Ellesmere, but now lives in Redhill Lane, Wrexham.

He pleaded guilty to 19 charges of fraud by false representation at Shrewsbury Crown Court on Wednesday, July 19 and will be sentenced on Friday, October 6.

Judge Peter Barrie gave an eight-week adjournment for the case after Paul Smith, defending Peach, said a psychiatric report had been commissioned for September 24.

Mr Smith also told the court that the defendant was aware he faced a ‘lengthy’ custodial sentence for the fraud, which amounted to £1.9 million.

The court heard the defendant, who pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity, had agreed a plea deal with prosecutors.


Peach admitted 14 offences involving writing cheques that he did not have the funds for between October 2016 and November 2019.

Peach also admitted four fraud offences of trying to claim a refund for cheques paid to companies that he allegedly did not have the funds for, and a further charge of fraud of transferring criminal property.

On October 18, 2016, he wrote a cheque in the sum of £20,000 made payable to Covercy Europe Ltd, while on February 18, 2017, he tried to buy 15,000 euros for £12,914.33 from OSTC Foreign Exchange using a cheque for an account that did not have the requisite funds.

On April 3, 2017, Peach paid a cheque in the sum of £16,985.14 to Infinity International and on June 5, 2017, a cheque worth £4,911.80 made payable to Opal Transfer.

Between July 1, 2017 and August 9, 2017 he wrote cheques of £9,002.32 made payable to Pilling and Co which the prosecution says represented an overpayment of £8,100.

On December 17, 2017, Peach made false representation after writing a cheque for £15,000 made payable to Redmayne Bentley.

In April 2018, he made a cheque for £50,000 made payable to Vanguard Asset Management which prosecutors deem as ‘criminal property’ after Peach moved the money by means of a bank transfer to Wace Morgan Solicitors in May 2018.

The defendant also tried to arrange a refund of £14,614.27 after paying £28,756.45 via cheque to FCA Automotive Services UK Ltd in April 2018.

He wrote two cheques totalling £51,727.74 to Welch and Philips between June 25, 2018 and July 27, 2018 and £500,000 to Franklin Templeton on August 8, 2018.

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Other payments included £36,036.04 made payable to Cornhill International; £110,000 by cheque though claimed it was electronic to Blackston Sington; two cheques totalling £35,277.36 to Bibby Foreign Exchange and tried to claim a refund of £56,521.20 from Barclays Finance.

He wrote a cheque to Paratus AMC for £486,251.20 despite that there were no funds and tried to claim a refund of £46,125.20 from Blanchford Building Supplies.

He also admitted claiming a refund of £9,989.32 from Freshview Foods Ltd and also writing a cheque to Terry Jones Solicitors for £430,000.