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Indian-origin royal wedding guest faces jail

world Updated: Jun 25, 2011 19:47 IST

PTI
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An Indian-origin shopkeeper, who was recently a guest at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, is now facing jail sentence after being convicted of fraud by a UK court.

Hasmukh Shingadia (51), who runs a convenience store in Buckleburgy village where Kate grew up, admitted to propping up the shop by misleading the local post office on how much "cash-in-hand" he held, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Defence lawyer Nigel Daly told the Oxford Crown Court that at the time of the fraud his client had a cashflow problem with the non-post office side of his business, and had always intended to pay back any gains made through his scheme.

Justice Saunders said Shingadia was "taking money from the post office bills to meet bills on the other side" between December 2008 and March 2010.

The shopkeeper admitted to one charge of false accounting at his at his Peaches Spar shop, but pleaded not guilty to one count of theft of 16,180.60 pounds and the prosecution will ask for this to lie on the file.

The shopkeeper and his wife Chandrika, who now face losing their shop, were among a number of Bucklebury residents invited to the royal wedding eight weeks ago.

The judge granted Shingadia bail on Friday until a sentencing hearing on July 21, and told him: "I am giving you no indication of what the likely sentence will be in relation to this," but added that Shingadia was "a man of previous good character."

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