THREE business people from Wiltshire have been released on bail accused of being part of a conspiracy to steal.

Stephen Smith, Jana Smith and Martin Kilford are accused of stealing from British Telecom between 2009 and 2011.

They also face money laundering offences alongside seven other people during a similar period of time.

All ten appeared alongside each other in the dock for a brief hearing at Swindon Crown Court.

No charges were put to Stephen Smith, of Flaxlands, Hook, near Royal Wootton Bassett, Jana Smith, of Tye Gardens, Grange Park, and Kilford of Wanshot Road, Wroughton.

They are accused of conspiracy to steal along with a fourth defendant: Ronald Porter, 51, of Witham, Essex.

The trio along with seven others are also accused of conspiracy to conceal criminal property.

The other defendants in the case are Karen Allen, 57, and Robert Tennent, 45, who live together in Coventry, Caroline Woodcraft, 47, and Philip Woodcraft, 55, of Gorsley, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire Mark Stanton, 47, of Romford, and John Cooper,44, of Dagenham, both Essex.

No charges were put to the defendants and they did not enter any pleas during the hearing.

Judge Douglas Field adjourned the case to Friday, May 23 and released the ten on bail.

Because of the number of defendants and the potential length of trial, the case is likely to