ECOTRICITY founder Dale Vince has launched a private prosecution against a man he accuses of plotting to burgle him.

After the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring charges against Richard Cole of Tower Road South, Bristol, Mr Vince opted to take up the case personally.

Lawyers acting for the renewable energy entrepreneur, who is also the chairman and owner of Forest Green Rovers Football Club, have charged Cole with conspiring to burgle his home on Rodborough Common between February 20 and March 31 last year.

A second charge also alleges that between the same dates Cole dishonestly received two black, grey and white Arai motorsport crash helmets owned by Mr Vince.

Cole appeared before Gloucester Crown Court on Friday to face the charges and was told to return for a plea and case management hearing on March 14 followed by a trial on May 27.

Richard Shepherd, prosecuting, told the court that after the CPS decided not to prosecute Cole they were asked by Mr Vince's legal team to reconsider but again declined.

"Mr Vince has been put in the position of having to undertake the prosecution with his own money," said Mr Shepherd. "He will do that and take it to trial.

"It may well be that the CPS are invited to adopt this case again but if they do not it will still be prosecuted one way or another."

Judge Jamie Tabor granted Cole bail.