A CHARITY shop owner accused of defrauding an air ambulance organisation was too ill to attend his trial, which was due to start today.

Nigel Philpot-Jones, 58, who ran Walton Air Ambulance Support Shop in Walton High Street, has denied making false claims that he was collecting money for charity between October 2008 and October 2010.

He also denied possessing articles for use in connection with fraud, including collection tins, items of clothing and an identification badge.

A judge at Chelmsford Crown Court was told Philpot-Jones, of School Road, Messing, was ill in hospital.

A new date for his trial will be set later.