Bankrupt owes TP £74K

Published:  13 October, 2010

STOKE-ON-TRENT: A bankrupt businessman blew £20 000 on drinking and gambling to avoid paying it to his creditors.

D&I Builders owed more than £74 000 to builders' merchant Travis Perkins and bank Lloyds TSB when it went into liquidation.

Owner, Ian Oxton was held personally responsible for his company's debts, and was declared bankrupt but the day after his bankruptcy hearing he cashed £20 000 of business money and spent it.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard last week that Mr Oxton had started the business in the early 1990s, and it became a limited company in 2001. At its height it turned over £3m, and employed 18 full-time staff and 80 sub-contractors. But the slump in the building trade saw the firm's fortunes plummet.

David Temkin, prosecuting, said: "Between March 4 and June 3, 2008, Travis Perkins supplied goods to the defendant's company to the value of £16 589. On September 20, the defendant's company went into liquidation. Travis Perkins looked to him personally for repayment of the debt but it wasn't paid.

"On April 16, Travis Perkins petitioned for the defendant's bankruptcy and on July 13 he was declared bankrupt at hearing at the county court.

"There was £74 482 which was payable to Travis Perkins, Lloyds TSB and a bank overdraft. On July 14 he transferred £20 000 from Britannia to his own Barclays bank account, and on July 20 the defendant withdrew it in cash from the Hanley branch.

"By August 21 these funds had been dissipated. The defendant told the official receiver he had spent the funds drinking and gambling over a period of a month."

Mr Oxton, of Lark Avenue, Kidsgrove, pleaded guilty to a charge of fraudulent removal of property. Judge Paul Glenn handed Oxton a three-month sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered him to complete 300 hours of unpaid work – the highest amount the court can give.

He was also ordered to pay back £5000 at £200 per month, and Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings may follow to recover more of the debt.

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