Man charged with requiring contractor on supply depot construction to carry out free work at his home

A dockyard manager has appeared in court accused of having a £6,000 wall built at his home for free by a contractor working at the dockyard.

Malcolm Spurrell, manager at a military dockyard in Devon, was in charge of a £4.5m project to build a new supply depot at Plymouth's Devonport Dockyard.

Plymouth crown court was told that he approached a site manager and requested the wall be built. However, Spurrell, aged 56, of Cornwall said he built the wall over a year with his builder brother.

The court heard that Spurrell had direct control of 16 staged payments made to building firm CH Pearce for the dockyard work. The prosecution said that he was also in a position to influence future work, and there was a “wealth of evidence to show the company paid for the work on his behalf”.

Nick Lewin, prosecuting, said documents showed that CH Pearce had paid for deliveries invoiced to it, and then sent them on to Spurrell's address.

A delivery was even signed by Spurrell for sand, gravel and cement, which was invoiced to the site manager at CH Pearce's office at the dockyard project.

The case continues.