A PLUMBER has appeared in court for allegedly overcharging a group of nuns at a monastery for work on their copper piping.

Gary Henry, 56, is said to have invoiced Poor Clares an exorbitant fee of £10,249 for work on their building which lies on the edge of the Exmoor National Park.

He pleaded not guilty to a single charge of fraud when he appeared at Exeter Crown Court.

It is alleged that between November 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 he made a false representation to parish priest Father Kieran Kirby, namely an invoice for £10,249 which he represented as reasonable payment for work at the monastery.

It is alleged he claimed overpayment for work and time required to complete the job; overcharged for work on the copper piping; and overcharged on VAT.

The invoice is said to have related to work carried out in 2011.

The court was told the holy order of Lynton, Devon, which according to its website lives a life of Franciscan poverty, did not pay.

The case has been brought by Devon Trading Standards and Judge Geoffrey Mercer QC set a trial date of June 11.

The case against Henry, of Instow, Devon, was adjourned until the next hearing on May 4.