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Fri January 28 2022

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Building boss jailed for insolvency offences

17 Feb 16 The former director of a Hampshire building contractor has been jailed for six months after pleading guilty to running a company while disqualified.

Robert Porter, aged 67, was sentenced following a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court. He had pleaded guilty to one count of being concerned in the management of a company while disqualified from doing so and one count of the use of a prohibited name.

Mrs Kelly Porter, aged 45, received a sentence of 150 hours unpaid work and a one-year directors’ disqualification order for aiding and abetting the section 13 count.

Their conviction followed an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS).

Mr Porter was formerly the director of ADP Enterprises Ltd, a building company that traded as A & B Construction. The company was wound up in August 2008 with substantial debts.

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In the course of the winding up Mr Porter offered a director’s disqualification undertaking for three years and six months, which ended on 7th December 2013. Under this, Mr Porter was prohibited from acting as a director or being involved in the management of a company for this period. Additionally, as its director, Mr Porter was prohibited from trading in the name of the dissolved company, or any name it had been known by in the 12 months prior to winding up, or any name so similar as to suggest a connection to the dissolved company.

On 12th May 2008, Porter & Co was incorporated and operated as a building company. This company amassed debts and was wound up on 26th March 2012.

In the course of Porter & Co’s winding up the Insolvency Practitioner collected evidence, including invoices and statements from customers, which indicated that although Mrs Porter was the sole registered director, in reality Mr Porter had been in control of the company and that the company had used the trading style A & B Construction. The matter was referred for criminal investigation and a prosecution brought.

Liam Mannall, from the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, said: “Flouting a director’s disqualification has serious consequences. In this case Mr Porter has received a custodial prison sentence at the age of 67, whilst his wife has received a lesser sentence but is now also disqualified. This demonstrates how seriously the courts consider the flouting of directors disqualification by banned directors, and those who assist them.”

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