A BOOK dealer who denies stealing a Shakespeare first folio worth £3m is due to stand trial next summer.

Raymond Scott, 52, of Sandford Close, Wingate, County Durham, is accused of stealing a folio dating from 1623 from Durham University in 1998.

During a half-hour preliminary hearing at Newcastle Crown Court today, the trial was fixed to start on Monday, June 14.

Prosecuting barrister Robert Smith QC said it was expected to last six to eight weeks.

He also told the court that one witness would come from Washington DC in the USA to give evidence while another American witnesses would give evidence via a video link.

A hearing to discuss issues about the trial will be held some time in January.

Mr Scott was granted bail by Judge Richard Lowden on condition that he does not contact prosecution witnesses or visit Palace Green, Durham City, location of the old Durham University Library.

Mr Scott arrived at court dressed in a suit, raincoat and bowler hat. He wore his customary sunglasses and carried an umbrella and briefcase.

He attended a previous hearing at Durham Crown Court in a kilt, arriving in a horse-drawn carriage.