Jail for banned building company director

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Insolvency service

As a result of two insolvency offences, Robert Porter, aged 67, a company director from Hampshire, has been sentenced to 6 months imprisonment following a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Porter pleaded guilty to 1 count of being concerned in the management of a company whilst disqualified from doing so and 1 count of the use of a prohibited name.

Ms Kelly Porter, aged 45, received a sentence of 150 hours unpaid work and a directors’ disqualification order of 1 year’s duration for aiding and abetting the section 13 count.

Mr Porter’s conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Mr Porter was formerly the director of ADP Enterprises Limited, a building company which traded as A & B Construction. The company amassed large deficiencies and was wound up in August 2008.

In the course of the winding up Mr Porter offered a Directors Disqualification Undertaking for a period of three years and six months which ended on 7 December 2013. As such, 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 12 May 2008, Porter & Co was incorporated and operated as a building company. The company amassed debts and was wound up on 26 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 Ms 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.

DCIO Liam Mannall, from the Department for Business Innovation and 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.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills will investigate and prosecute those who ignore the restrictions placed on them by disqualification orders or undertakings”.