Banned haulier set up firm illegally and acted as ‘shadow director’

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A 'dishonest and deceitful' haulier defied a ban by acting as a shadow director in a bid to stop his life's work 'going up in smoke'.

As well as being a shadow director for Heathcliff Haulage, Wisbech-based Heath Noel-Storr, 50, formed another company PHD Logistics Ltd, while disqualified, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Trevor Archer, prosecuting for the Insolvency Service, said Heathcliff Haulage was placed in administration on May 18, 2010, after running up debts and went into liquidation owing £641,201, which largely related to money owed to HMRC.

He said that in December 2011, Noel-Storr agreed to be disqualified as a director until July 4, 2015, but he continued at act as a shadow director and promoted an employee from manager to director to conceal his involvement in managing the affairs of the company.

Mr Archer said a further breach of the disqualification undertaking was the formation of PHD Logistics in December 2013, in which Noel-Storr was listed as a shareholder/subscriber of the company, which was dissolved in June 2015.

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Mr Archer said Noel-Storr had since signed a further disqualification undertaking for 10 years in November 2015, which expires in November 2025.

Noel-Storr pleaded guilty to acting as a shadow director and forming a company while disqualified.

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Judge Anthony Bate imposed a nine-month jail sentence suspended for 15 months and ordered him to do 240 hours of unpaid work.

He said Noel-Storr was an experienced road haulier but when his business collapsed he made an undertaking to be disqualified from acting as a director.

Judge Bate said Noel-Storr had breached the undertaking soon after it was made and told him: "It was dishonest and deceitful as you accept by your guilty pleas."

Andrew Oliver, for Noel-Storr, said he had built up the haulage business since 1988 and found it difficult not get involved.

He said: "It must have been extremely difficult to watch his life's work going up in smoke. He felt incapable of standing by and seeing it fail."

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