NINE people from across the North appeared in court charged with ripping off at least one vulnerable person to the tune of £68,000.

All are accused of dishonestly claiming money for work that had not been completed and at a vastly overinflated value.

The alleged offence took place in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, between June 1, 2011, and January 31, 2012.

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Prosecutor Clare Irving told Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, it was alleged that at least one vulnerable person had been targeted.

She said this, combined with the amount of money allegedly involved, meant the case should be dealt with at crown court.

No further details of the alleged offence were given in court. 

Appearing before the court were:

Owen Collinson, 20, of Woodhouse Road, Guisborough, Cleveland;

Carl Foley, 21, whose address was given at Holme House Prison, Stockton;

Dixie-Lee Petch, 24, of Wilson Street, Guisborough, Cleveland;

Josephine Price, 25, of Dudley Street, Tyersal, Bradford;

Gillian Russell, 28, of Hewley Avenue, York;

Jane Rutley, 39, of Charltons Terrace, Saltburn;

Jodie Rutley, 19, of Charltons Terrace, Saltburn;

Jordana Scott, 19, of Salt Pie Lane, Kikby Lonsdale, Carnforth, Lancashire;

Michell Tyler, 42, of Tynedale Close, Skelton-in-Cleveland.

None of the accused entered a plea and in all cases, magistrates declined jurisdiction.

Foley was granted technical unconditional bail, but will remain in Holme House Prison.

The other eight were all released on unconditional bail.

All will reappear at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, March 27, when they will be committed to crown court.