A builder who traded under five different names has been handed a maximum 15-year Bankruptcy Restrictions Order by Torquay and Newton Abbott County Court, in a case brought before it by The Insolvency Service.
Two-time bankrupt, Brian Joseph Kerr, was also known as Brian Pavey, Brian Kerr, Brian Carr, and Peter Robertson. The court order was made after it was shown Kerr had failed to supply agreed building services to customers and he neglected his business affairs in respect of both his tax liabilities and over his failure to keep any business records as a builder.
In making the order, District Judge Meredith stated that this was as bad a case as could be envisaged, labelling Kerr as a man who simply could not be trusted at all to honestly deal with the public.
Under the terms of the Bankruptcy Restrictions Order, Kerr is restricted from acting either directly or indirectly in the management of a Limited Company or PLC without the permission of the court. He must also disclose both his bankruptcy restriction when applying for credit (including obtaining deposits in advance of goods or services to be supplied) of more than £500, and the name by which he was made bankrupt when seeking to do any business in a different name or trading name.
The order was made after the Court satisfied itself that the following circumstances of conduct were made out.
- Between November 2006 and July 2007, Mr Kerr failed to supply agreed building services to customers, either at all or to a reasonable standard.
- For the period 01 April 2004 to 27 January 2009, the Respondent has neglected his business affairs.
The events leading up to the Bankruptcy Restrictions Order can be summarised as follows:
This included hijacking the good name of a locally reputable builder.
- Kerr has used 13 principal trading names and at least 5 different proprietor names in the period of less than 2 years specifically for the purpose of deceiving the public and hiding his prior reputation as a builder known for bad practice.
- Kerr has operated since April 2004 without keeping a single record of his trading, leading to income tax assessments of over £230,000. As a result of the failure to keep records, I have been prevented from testing whether he has been correctly claiming state benefits, or whether further liabilities are due in respect of VAT or deductions he should have taken from his subcontractors. In addition, I am prevented from tracing further undisclosed liabilities owed by Mr Kerr, both trade creditors and customers.
- Kerr has not reformed his manner of trading or ceased his rogue activities despite lessons learnt from both a previous bankruptcy and criminal and civil action from Devon Trading Standards.
Jon McGurk, Exeter Official Receiver, commented: "It is rare for a Bankruptcy Restrictions Order to be given for the maximum period. However, the evidence my office has put to the court, including the complaints of customers and the disclosed investigations of Devon Trading Standards, shows the damage Mr Kerr has caused as a Cowboy Builder. To echo the comments of the Court: