A FORMER councillor has gone on trial charged with embezzling nearly £80,000 from an elderly couple.

Gordon Beurskens, 51, denies repeatedly transferring money from five accounts held by James and Janet McQue between 2006 and 2009.

The jury at Livingston Sheriff Court yesterday heard evidence that Mr Beurskens obtained a third party mandate signed by the couple that gave him control over their bank accounts. Detective sergeant Gordon Burns, of Police Scotland's financial investigation unit, said CID officers searched the accused's home and his council office in March 2009 and seized financial records, bank statements, computers and a laptop.

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DS Burns listed a number of transfers from the McQues' accounts to Mr Beurskens's and his partner.

The trial continues.