Page last updated at 19:14 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 20:14 UK

Ex-officer denies money problems

Paul Page with wife, Laura
Paul Page's wife, Laura, was cleared of charges related to the case

A former royal protection officer accused of a £3m betting and property fraud has denied being "very pushed" for money in 2003.

Paul Page, who allegedly cheated investors out of their life savings, denied the allegations from the witness box at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr Page, 38, of Grays, Essex, denies fraudulent trading and intimidation.

He is accused of taking from colleagues and others to set up a false investment scheme to finance a life of luxury.

The charges cover the period between 1 January 2003 and 30 March 2007.

Mr Page has also pleaded not guilty to threatening to take revenge on one victim, Fahim Baree, who spoke to police.

Mr Page's wife, Laura, 42, has been cleared of charges she originally faced in connection with the case.

'Above board'

During cross-examination, prosecutor Douglas Day, QC, suggested Mr Page had been "very pushed" for money in 2003, as evidenced by the "most enormous difficulty" his wife had in paying catalogue bills and his "failure" to meet water company demands.

Mr Page said: "We had money...We were not the best payers in the world. I was a bad payer but I always paid in the end."

But Mr Day suggested: "The only way you could pay for your lifestyle was through investors' money."

Mr Page replied: "I was taking care of business for a lot of police officers. If they were not going to be paid they would not have given me money."

Insisting "it was all above board", he maintained: "It is fair to say when people were investing in me they trusted in me. I had a very good reputation. I always paid on time. I always looked after people.

"Therefore I didn't have to explain what I was doing with their money. No-one needed to give me any grief...because they always got their money."

Earlier the father-of-five told the jury: "All I would ask you is for a fair trial.

"That is all I want. I have been made out to be this reckless monster, which is not true."

Police investigation

He told the court he had been the subject of an eight-month police investigation.

But he said details of the inquiry had not been disclosed to him or the jury.

Mr Page - who is representing himself - said there was a document in which the police concluded he had "not acted in any criminal way".

He said: "How can you honestly judge me without knowing the facts of that investigation? I never was doing any criminality whatsoever.

"There is a clear contradiction between what the police are saying and what the prosecution are saying," he said.

"I can't see how in this case you can be asked to fairly look at all the evidence when you have not got it."

Mr Page also denied threatening Mr Baree, saying he went to see him to ask him for help as things had been going wrong and he had lost his home.

He said: "I have never threatened him or his family. I have always been there to help him - always.

"I couldn't believe he would give a statement against me. We had an argument. There was never any threat to kill him."

The trial, which began two months ago, has previously heard allegations that officers responsible for guarding the Queen and other royals took photos of each other sitting on thrones, played poker and exchanged pornography.

The trial continues.



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