The son-in-law of Lord Patten of Barnes is facing a trial in two months’ time over gun charges over claims he was involved in a shooting.
Former florist Elton Charles, 50, who is married to Tory life peer Patten’s daughter Laura, 48, is alongside three other men charged in connection with the discharge of a firearm.
It came after police were ‘alerted to reports of a gunshot in Ealing’ not long after 10.30pm on September 6, 2022.
It is understood that no one was injured, but the Metropolitan Police said ‘evidence was found of a shot having been fired’.
Kingston Crown Court confirmed to MailOnline that Charles, of Kensal Rise, north west London and Grant Nicholas, 46, Nathaniel St Aimie, 43, and Lee Morgan, 42 were all charged.
All four deny conspiracy to possess a shotgun firearm with ‘intent to endanger life’ as well as conspiracy to ‘possess a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence’.
Chancellor of the University of Oxford,The Rt Hon the Chris Patten. University of Oxford Encaenia ceremony, The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, in 2019
On Monday, Charles appeared at Kingston Crown Court to formally enter two not guilty pleas. His case is expected go to a four-week trial on June 19 in the same court.
His wife Lady Patten, the daughter of Conservative peer Chris Patten who was the last British Governor of Hong Kong, is understood to have been with their daughter in the public gallery.
The Times said Charles’ first appearance was on February 23, 2023 at Wimbledon Magistrates Court where he was handed a conditional bail once the case moved to the Crown Court. A £100,000 surety bond applied.
The three other men charged with were also following along the court proceedings through video link on Monday from Wandsworth Prison, where they are being held.
Charles appeared at Kingston Crown Court to formally enter two not guilty pleas. His case is expected go to a four-week trial on June 19 in the same court
Grant Nicholas, of no fixed address and Lee Morgan, of West Malling, Kent, reportedly pleaded not guilty to both charges.
St Aimie, from Tooting, south west London, did not enter pleas, with Ghulam Haider Ali indicating not guilty pleas on his behalf.
The three men were remanded in custody, and the publication reported that Judge Georgina Kent then told Charles: ‘You are on bail, on stringent conditions.
‘It’s important you know what they are and abide by them.’
Elton Charles and Laura Patten married in 2002 after being ‘devoted friends for years following their first meeting in the mid-1990s.
Charles was at the time a florist, while Laura was a former Tatler beauty and health journalist. They share a daughter, Elodie.
In March 2006, The Mail reported that Laura separated from Elton just seven months after their wedding.
It was understood that Lady Patten moved back into her family home in Barnes, but later returned to her husband at their Kilburn flat.
A source revealed at the time: ‘They are both thrilled to be parents, and despite the wobble their marriage is back on track.’
‘They are doing up their flat at the moment and have spent lots of time at IKEA choosing the perfect kitchen.’
Laura’s father is senior Tory Lord Patten, who was first elected as an MP for Bath in 1979. He later lost his seat in 1992.
Lord Patten returned to the UK in 1997 after his role as the final governor of Hong Kong following the transfer of sovereignty to China.
Between 1999 and 2009, Patten was Newcastle University’s Chancellor and was elected for the same position at the University of Oxford in 2003.