Debenham: Top non-league soccer boss to deny fraud charge

ONE of Suffolk’s top non-league football managers has said he will fight to clear his name after being accused of an alleged fraud estimated at around �16,000.

Mel Aldis, boss of Debenham LC in the Ridgeons League Premier Division, is due to appear in court next week for the first hearing of his case.

The 50-year-old, who is a former manager of the Debenham Leisure Centre, was charged when he answered his police bail on Tuesday.

Asked if he wished to comment on the accusation, Aldis said: “I will be denying the charge and am quite happy that the truth will come out in court.”

Police have said Aldis, of Eye Road, Kenton, near Debenham, was originally arrested on December 8 last year.

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After being interviewed about the allegation Aldis was released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

The accusation relates to a 10-month period during last year.

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Lisa McGrann, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said Aldis was charged when he returned to Bury St Edmunds police station.

The wording of the charge against Aldis reads: “Between January 1, 2010, and October 1, 2010, at Debenham in the county of Suffolk committed fraud in that you dishonestly made a false representation, namely falsely representing that you were the authorised user of a credit card account intending to make a gain, namely an unspecified amount of cash in the region of �16,000, for yourself.”

Aldis is currently on bail until his scheduled appearance before Bury St Edmunds magistrates next Tuesday.

Aldis, a former non-league footballer, successfully turned his hand to football management when he became Framlingham’s player-manager leading them to the Suffolk and Ipswich League title in 1992.

He then moved on to manage Stowmarket before ending up with Debenham LC. He took the team through the divisions, transforming them from a junior club to their present status in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

Aldis has also tasted national success at Wembley when he won the Carlsberg Pub Cup with Earl Soham Victoria in 2000.

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