Leeds United ex-director in court

By Jessica Elgot, December 15, 2009

Former property magnate and director of Leeds United Simon Morris has appeared at Leeds magistrates court charged with conspiracy to blackmail a man over a £100,000 debt.

Mr Morris, 32, who is jointly accused with Jonathan Ashworth, 49, from Hyde, Cheshire, was charged after a long investigation by West Yorkshire police into the demise of Mr Morris’ business.

He was declared bankrupt a year after his business empire, SRM Holdings Group, collapsed with debts of around £50 million.

His co-accused is also charged with possession of a firearm and possession of an offensive weapon but did not appear in court due to illness.

Mr Ashworth is said to have contracted MRSA after recovering from an operation in hospital.

Mr Morris was a director at Leeds United from 2004 until 2005. The football club was then taken over by current chairman Ken Bates.

Mr Morris has been granted conditional bail. He will appear in the magistrates’ court on January 4 where the case is likely to be transferred to Leeds Crown Court.

Last updated: 4:21pm, December 15 2009