Four-time mayor denies allegations of fraud

Malcolm Belchamber, a four-time former mayor of Littlehampton, arrives at Worthing Magistrates Court. He denied two counts of fraud. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160609-115027001
Malcolm Belchamber, a four-time former mayor of Littlehampton, arrives at Worthing Magistrates Court. He denied two counts of fraud. Picture by Eddie Mitchell SUS-160609-115027001

A four-time former mayor of Littlehampton has appeared in court to deny allegations of fraud.

Malcolm Belchamber, who gave his name as Thomas Malcolm Belchamber, appeared at Worthing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, charged with two counts of fraud.

Belchamber, 69, of East Ham Road, Littlehampton, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

It is alleged that on November 25, 2014, he wrote a letter purporting to be from lettings agent Leaders, advising Osman Koroma of an increase in the rent payable in respect of a property in Wick Parade.

Between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2005, he is further accused of writing a letter purporting to be from the Home Office, advising Mr Koroma that he could remain indefinitely in the United Kingdom.

Wearing a blue suit and pink spotted tie, Belchamber spoke to confirm his name and address and to ask: “Am I allowed to say anything?”

He opted for jury trial, with a case management hearing scheduled for Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, October 4.

He was released on unconditional bail.

Belchamber, a current Littlehampton town councillor and MBE, was mayor between 1982 and 1983, 1992 and 1993, 2004 and 2005 and 2006 and 2007. He is an Independent councillor for River ward.