Six facing trial over illicit cigarettes

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SIX people accused of dealing in illegal cigarettes will be tried by a jury in the summer.

The group, including a Sunderland man, has been charged with conspiring to fraudulently evade duty on tobacco and cigarettes and conspiring to conceal or convert criminal cash.

The prosecution, brought by HM Revenue and Customs, claim the offences took place between January 2010 and October last year.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday, Justin Sheriff, 40, of Bisley Drive, and Liam Ellison, 39, of Copley Avenue, both South Shields, pleaded guilty to both charges.

Leonard Clouston, 40, of Moreland Road, South Shields, admitted the charges at an earlier hearing.

Glenn Paul Crisp, 40, of Pear Tree Mews, Ashbrooke, Sunderland; Kris Michael Linney, 28, of Albert Road in Jarrow; Kirsten Jane Linney, 22, of High Meadow; Michael Keith Linney, 46, of Mill Dam; Victoria Louise Linney, 42, of the same address; Paul Anthony Lowry, 38, of Malborough Street North, all South Shields, all deny the charges. They will be back for a trial on July 22.

The three who pleaded guilty will be sentenced later.

All were granted conditional bail.