A FINANCIER who alleges three East Lancashire men threatened to cut off his fingers, over a Dubai property deal, has admitted he was a wanted man.

Richard Cox, 60, told an Edinburgh High Court trial that three men, including former Burnley Keirby Hotel owner Mohammed Asjad, attacked him at his Fife home, in November 2010. Asjad had asked Mr Cox for his help in a multi-million pound property deal in the United Arab Emirates, and then demanded his money back when the deal went sour.

But Asjad’s counsel, John Scott QC, accused Mr Cox of trying to ‘bounce’ a million-pound cheque, as his UAE business empire crumbled, making him a wanted man.

Mr Cox said there had been a change in the law, making the offence a civil, rather criminal matter.

The former finance boss also said: “Even if I am the worst character on earth, are you allowed to take the law into your own hands? No, emphatically no.”

Asjad, 41, of Reedley Road, Reedley, Mark Putterill, 37, of Colne Road, Nelson, and Ian Williams, 50, of Station Road, Padiham, deny assault, robbery and attempted extortion.