FIVE Kent men have appeared in court accused of conspiring to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into the murder of Robertsbridge businessman Julian Gardner.
Mr Gardner was found dead on the driveway of his home at Bush Barn Farm, on the A21 in Robertsbridge, in October last year.
Police believe Mr Gardner could have been killed after confronting intruders.
Lee Delay, 22, of Whitegate Close, Tunbridge Wells, Christopher Leek, 29, of Pear Tree Close, Cranbrook, Paul Dunn, 56, of Fryth Crescent, Cranbrook and Terry Bristow, 40, of Chilmington, Ashford, are all charged with burglary and conspiring to pervert the course of public justice.
Terence Dunn, 55, of Tanyards Estate, Sandhurst, is charged with conspiring to pervert the course of public justice.
The five entered no plea to any of the charges when they appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court last Friday.
Around 20 friends and family of the accused were in the public gallery and extra security had been drafted in for the hearing.
Bristow was remanded in custody.
Delay, Leek and Paul and Terence Dunn were granted conditional bail, but following an appeal by the Crown Prosecution Service, the four were remanded to appear at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday.
But at the hearing, His Honour Judge Brown refused to grant the CPS’s appeal against the grant of bail.
The four were granted bail on the conditions they surrender their passports to police, reside at the addresses given to the court, observe a 9pm-5am curfew and present themselves at the door when police call, report to a named police station twice a week and have no direct or indirect contact with CPS witnesses or co-defendants.
All five will return to Lewes Crown Court on June 24 for a plea and directions hearing.
So far no one has been charged with Julian Gardner’s murder.