Ex-soldier jailed for ignoring court orders

Ex-soldier jailed for ignoring court orders

Ex-soldier jailed for ignoring court orders

First published in News

A FORMER soldier who ran a security company despite being banned from being a director held his head in his hands as he was jailed for a year.

Geoffrey Tapsell, of Capesthorne Drive, Haydon Wick, was on a suspended sentence for ignoring the disqualifications when he carried on regardless running the businesses.

Now the 55-year-old father-of-two has been jailed after a judge told him he had failed to listen to what the courts had been telling him.

Michael Bartling, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Tapsell had been made subject of three orders which were all in force at the same time.

He said the first was imposed at Slough County Court in August 2007 after the collapse of his company Premier Services Security Ltd.

Despite the order being imposed within a few months he was operating as a director of GKT Group Ltd.

Mr Bartling said that firm was eventually wound up with debts of about £100,000, almost all to the tax man. Soon after Tapsell was involved in GKT Security Ltd, which the court heard was a banned name as it sounded too similar to the failed company.

In May 2010 the defendant appeared at Reading crown court for breaching the first disqualification order.

After admitting the offence he was given a 36-week jail term suspended for 18 months and another ban was imposed.

Mr Bartling said that between April 2009 and 2011 Tapsell received more than £63,000 from the businesses he owned and was illegally involved in running.

Tapsell pleaded guilty to running a company when he was disqualified and using a prohibited company name.

Rob Ross, defending, said that although his client had ignored the orders there was no suggestion that he had been involved in any fraud.

“Stripping it down, he has carried on trying to make a living. He has not been as careful as he should have been,” he said.

“I am not suggesting he has not done anything wrong, he is caught by the Act as though he is not a director he is involved in the running of the company.”

He said the initial disqualification came following a VAT bill which may not have been correct and is being looked into.

Regardless, he said his client should have abided by the orders and done what he is now doing and working as a long distance lorry driver.

He said he had served 22 years distinguished service in the army before leaving in 1995 and starting in the security business.

Jailing him Judge Euan Ambrose said: “One of the aspects of the mitigation in this case is that there has been no dishonesty in this case.

“I accept that but it is impossible to look at the facts of this case and came to the conclusion that you believe you are someone who believes that the rules do not apply to you.”

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