Lux latest: Trial of Jeremy Coombs postponed

The trial of the lighting designer Jeremy Coombs on fraud charges was opened and adjourned at Southwark Crown Court today.

The judge ruled the absence of a key witness meant the trial – slated for five days this week – couldn’t proceed.

Coombs is accused of defrauding a number of top London art galleries of sums amounting to almost £20,000. The charges relate to two sophisticated lighting systems. He promised to supply low-energy LED lighting equipment to the Mass and the Stoppenbach & Delestre galleries in Cork Street – but never delivered. The LEDs were to illuminate French 19th and 20th century paintings.

Jeremy Coombs, 52, is alleged to have run off with the cash after promising to supply lighting systems to the Johnny Van Haeften and Maas galleries and Stoppenbach & Delestre dealership.

He had been due to stand trial this week, but the case was adjourned until the Spring after his legal team told Southwark Crown Court a key witness was not available.

According to court papers Coombs is alleged to have conned David Dallas out of £12,600 after promising to supply lighting systems between September 1 and 30, 2009.

Mr Dallas worked for Johnny Van Haeften Ltd which runs a gallery in Duke Street, central London, and specialises in Dutch and Flemish Old Master Paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries.

He is also alleged to have ripped of Rupert Maas, of the Maas Gallery, to the tune of £3,500, and art dealers Stoppenbach & Delestre in the sum of £3,400, under the same ruse.

Coombs, who gave an address in Weybridge, Surrey, denies three counts of fraud between September 2009 and January 2010.

No bail application was made, and Coombs has been remanded in custody until March 26, when the trial will take place, again at Southwark Crown Court. Coombs denies the charges.

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