Three men facing charges in connection with the theft of almost £200,000 worth of fertiliser from a Wirral cargo handling firm appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for the first time today, Friday.

In the dock were Barry Sargent, of Kenilworth Road, Wallasey, Terance Duggan, of Gorsey Lane, Bold, St Helens and Edward Edwards, of Corwen, Denbighshire.

36-year-old Sargent is accused of stealing 26 loads of urea fertiliser worth £194,747 from his employers, NW Trading, based in Cavendish Wharf, Birkenhead, between March 1, 2012 and October 10 last year.

Duggan, 59, and Edwards, 73, are both charged with handling stolen fertiliser over the same 19 month period.

The trio were further remanded on bail until August 29 when they are expected to enter their pleas.

A date for their trial was fixed to begin on November 3.