Co-owner defends bringing back fraudster

Helene Simpkins (left) defends return of Jason Ranford (centre)

Helene Simpkins (left) defends return of Jason Ranford (centre)

First published in News
Last updated

CO-OWNER Helene Simpkins has defended the Brunel Rooms’ decision to welcome fraudster Jason Ranford back into the business. Ranford was jailed for six months for two counts of fraud and two counts of common assault in October 2013, at which point the club went to great lengths to distance itself from its former director. Ms Simpkins rang the Adver several times to insist he had nothing to do with the club.

A statement posted on the Brunel Rooms Swindon Facebook page at the time, read: “Mr Jason Ranford will have no future involvement with the operation of the Brunel Rooms.”

Over the New Year period, images were posted on the social network which included Ranford, Ms Simpkins and co-owner Paula Harris, all representing the nightclub. And last week, when general manager Nathan Hatter was arrested in connection with an alleged theft at the nightclub, it was Ranford who made a statement on behalf of the club. Talking about Ranford’s return, Ms Simpkins yesterday said the original Facebook statement wasn’t her.

“That was Nathan making us say that statement,” she said. “Nathan put that statement up when he was in charge. We let Nathan take over a little but obviously he’s no longer involved with the club.

“Jason helps me bring the club up. He’s not back as a director, just with promotions. He’s trying to get people into the club, because he does know lots of people in Swindon. There are a lot of people that do like him.”

In response to Ms Simpkins’ comments, Nathan Hatter said: “The statement released on the club’s social networks was a collaborative effort between all management under the direction of Helene and Paula.

“It was confirmed by them, that following Mr Ranford’s sentencing, he would be written out of the business in terms of a lease holder and share holder, and that his directorship was only that of a title, which would subsequently be revoked.”

Comments (30)

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10:19am Thu 9 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Now let's hear the truth about Mr Hatter's arrest... it's hilarious!
Now let's hear the truth about Mr Hatter's arrest... it's hilarious! ChannelX
  • Score: 18

10:37am Thu 9 Jan 14

shinyhorseteeth says...

What an absolute joke this "management" team are!
What an absolute joke this "management" team are! shinyhorseteeth
  • Score: 18

11:00am Thu 9 Jan 14

AndySN3 says...

There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business.
Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises??
The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!!
There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business. Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises?? The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!! AndySN3
  • Score: 13

11:58am Thu 9 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

They all seem to be dodgy.
They all seem to be dodgy. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 13

12:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

Mr Hatter has been used here me thinks.... Brunel Rooms Directors/Management in my opinion would not be fit to clean the place let alone try and run it..... prob a money laundering outfit!
Mr Hatter has been used here me thinks.... Brunel Rooms Directors/Management in my opinion would not be fit to clean the place let alone try and run it..... prob a money laundering outfit! ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 11

12:48pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Badgersgetabadname says...

What other work place would allow that? Licence back up for review.....Wonder how long it will stay open for.
Its a shame the town needs a good night club.
What other work place would allow that? Licence back up for review.....Wonder how long it will stay open for. Its a shame the town needs a good night club. Badgersgetabadname
  • Score: 3

1:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

back_to_reality says...

Well never mind love, it's that kind of clear lack of judgement that means you will almost certainly close down in the very near future and lose your investment. Its been an entertaining show though so thanks for that at least.
Well never mind love, it's that kind of clear lack of judgement that means you will almost certainly close down in the very near future and lose your investment. Its been an entertaining show though so thanks for that at least. back_to_reality
  • Score: 10

1:20pm Thu 9 Jan 14

benzss says...

AndySN3 wrote:
There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business.
Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises??
The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!!
Let's hear these stories then
[quote][p][bold]AndySN3[/bold] wrote: There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business. Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises?? The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!![/p][/quote]Let's hear these stories then benzss
  • Score: -5

1:24pm Thu 9 Jan 14

house on the hill says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
They all seem to be dodgy.
I think you will find most in that line of work are to be fair.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: They all seem to be dodgy.[/p][/quote]I think you will find most in that line of work are to be fair. house on the hill
  • Score: -6

1:32pm Thu 9 Jan 14

SlantedView says...

Little children playing grown up business!

Swindon does need a decent venue, run by people you trust. This clearly isn't it!!
Little children playing grown up business! Swindon does need a decent venue, run by people you trust. This clearly isn't it!! SlantedView
  • Score: 12

2:08pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

Was having a drink in Lava Lounge last Friday... and who do I see drinking near me.... Jason Ranford... I thought he was on the Town Pub Watch thingy banning him from all venues.... tut tut.....
Was having a drink in Lava Lounge last Friday... and who do I see drinking near me.... Jason Ranford... I thought he was on the Town Pub Watch thingy banning him from all venues.... tut tut..... ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 2

2:35pm Thu 9 Jan 14

AndySN3 says...

benzss wrote:
AndySN3 wrote:
There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business.
Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises??
The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!!
Let's hear these stories then
http://www.talkswind
on.org/index.php?top
ic=9570.0

This will point you in the direction of one individual, and the type of character he is, and as the local press has reported, one other individual has allegedly made of with a large sum of money from the club safe.

This is no character assassination, but it does point to a licence being granted to a club, where certain individuals seem to have less than savoury characters.
[quote][p][bold]benzss[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]AndySN3[/bold] wrote: There seems to be a lot of "it wasn't me it was them" with the running of this business. Would this be the same if somebody were to be injured whilst on the premises?? The above statement, and the stories that have appeared in the press so far seem to indicate the people running this business are not able to do so, and it will only be a matter of time before somebody is either injured due to their failings, or some unfortunate supplier(s) will be left owed lots of money!![/p][/quote]Let's hear these stories then[/p][/quote]http://www.talkswind on.org/index.php?top ic=9570.0 This will point you in the direction of one individual, and the type of character he is, and as the local press has reported, one other individual has allegedly made of with a large sum of money from the club safe. This is no character assassination, but it does point to a licence being granted to a club, where certain individuals seem to have less than savoury characters. AndySN3
  • Score: 9

3:37pm Thu 9 Jan 14

mt1981 says...

Hahaha the whole lot of them come across as being absolute clowns
Hahaha the whole lot of them come across as being absolute clowns mt1981
  • Score: 9

3:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

JASON Ranford, director of the Brunel Rooms, has been convicted on two counts of fraud for taking deposits worth more than £1,000 for rental properties, with the intention of depriving his victims of their money.
JASON Ranford, director of the Brunel Rooms, has been convicted on two counts of fraud for taking deposits worth more than £1,000 for rental properties, with the intention of depriving his victims of their money. ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 4

3:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

Speaking at Chippenham Magistrates’ Court, Ranford said: “I was too proud to admit my company was failing. I hold my hands up to the money not being refunded, but the truth is I was trying to get the money back. My company had gone into administration for the fourth time.” Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “You deliberately withheld this information from the police because it might affect your application for a licence. “When you took the money from these two people your business was in trouble. You never had any intention to pay them back, and you wanted the money for your new business, the Brunel Rooms.”
Speaking at Chippenham Magistrates’ Court, Ranford said: “I was too proud to admit my company was failing. I hold my hands up to the money not being refunded, but the truth is I was trying to get the money back. My company had gone into administration for the fourth time.” Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “You deliberately withheld this information from the police because it might affect your application for a licence. “When you took the money from these two people your business was in trouble. You never had any intention to pay them back, and you wanted the money for your new business, the Brunel Rooms.” ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 4

3:46pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “On 25 February last year, the victim, who was a friend of the defendant’s girlfriend, was invited to a house party at the residence of Mr Ranford. “While at the party the victim realised a credit card was missing from her purse, and another person at the party mentioned Mr Ranford had a history of fraud. “What followed was Mr Ranford losing his temper, shouting and screaming at the victim in the bedroom. She then went outside and waited for a taxi. The defendant then came out shouting and pushed her, causing her to fall on the road surface. As she lay there the defendant showered her with punches to the head. The victim was defenceless.“The defendant was restrained but broke free again, punching her in the head, screaming with rage as he did so.”
Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “On 25 February last year, the victim, who was a friend of the defendant’s girlfriend, was invited to a house party at the residence of Mr Ranford. “While at the party the victim realised a credit card was missing from her purse, and another person at the party mentioned Mr Ranford had a history of fraud. “What followed was Mr Ranford losing his temper, shouting and screaming at the victim in the bedroom. She then went outside and waited for a taxi. The defendant then came out shouting and pushed her, causing her to fall on the road surface. As she lay there the defendant showered her with punches to the head. The victim was defenceless.“The defendant was restrained but broke free again, punching her in the head, screaming with rage as he did so.” ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 0

3:48pm Thu 9 Jan 14

ShutUpNowPlease says...

I will now ShutUpNowPlease but I could go on and on and on
I will now ShutUpNowPlease but I could go on and on and on ShutUpNowPlease
  • Score: 0

4:26pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Misssunshine1 says...

The Brunel rooms will soon have its on soap on TV. What a joke. A convicted criminal in charge he goes to jail so another person takes over but he runs off with the takings and then the convicted criminal takes back over the club just as the police are looking to take away the licence so safety reasons.

Brunrl rooms you are slowing becoming a laughing stock. Tune in everyone for next weeks last update on the in's and out's of the brunel rooms.
The Brunel rooms will soon have its on soap on TV. What a joke. A convicted criminal in charge he goes to jail so another person takes over but he runs off with the takings and then the convicted criminal takes back over the club just as the police are looking to take away the licence so safety reasons. Brunrl rooms you are slowing becoming a laughing stock. Tune in everyone for next weeks last update on the in's and out's of the brunel rooms. Misssunshine1
  • Score: 11

6:28pm Thu 9 Jan 14

SlantedView says...

ShutUpNowPlease wrote:
Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “On 25 February last year, the victim, who was a friend of the defendant’s girlfriend, was invited to a house party at the residence of Mr Ranford. “While at the party the victim realised a credit card was missing from her purse, and another person at the party mentioned Mr Ranford had a history of fraud. “What followed was Mr Ranford losing his temper, shouting and screaming at the victim in the bedroom. She then went outside and waited for a taxi. The defendant then came out shouting and pushed her, causing her to fall on the road surface. As she lay there the defendant showered her with punches to the head. The victim was defenceless.“The defendant was restrained but broke free again, punching her in the head, screaming with rage as he did so.”
“Jason helps me bring the club up. He’s not back as a director, just with promotions. He’s trying to get people into the club, because he does know lots of people in Swindon".

And if they're anything like him....Watch your handbags!!
[quote][p][bold]ShutUpNowPlease[/bold] wrote: Nick Barr, for the prosecution, said: “On 25 February last year, the victim, who was a friend of the defendant’s girlfriend, was invited to a house party at the residence of Mr Ranford. “While at the party the victim realised a credit card was missing from her purse, and another person at the party mentioned Mr Ranford had a history of fraud. “What followed was Mr Ranford losing his temper, shouting and screaming at the victim in the bedroom. She then went outside and waited for a taxi. The defendant then came out shouting and pushed her, causing her to fall on the road surface. As she lay there the defendant showered her with punches to the head. The victim was defenceless.“The defendant was restrained but broke free again, punching her in the head, screaming with rage as he did so.”[/p][/quote]“Jason helps me bring the club up. He’s not back as a director, just with promotions. He’s trying to get people into the club, because he does know lots of people in Swindon". And if they're anything like him....Watch your handbags!! SlantedView
  • Score: 11

7:27pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Localboy86 says...

Why would they want a woman beating fraudster promoting their club, niche market I would imagine?
Why would they want a woman beating fraudster promoting their club, niche market I would imagine? Localboy86
  • Score: 13

8:17pm Thu 9 Jan 14

John Trollston says...

There is a story that that one of the directors of a night club somewhere in Wiltshire called Mason Banford was given money to invest by heavy criminals
linked to the drug trade in this club.

This was a substantial amount according to underworld sources these are serious criminals who like to look after there investments by any means.

There trusted goffer and wannabee gangster is now re-employed after taking a holiday in chokey.
There is a story that that one of the directors of a night club somewhere in Wiltshire called Mason Banford was given money to invest by heavy criminals linked to the drug trade in this club. This was a substantial amount according to underworld sources these are serious criminals who like to look after there investments by any means. There trusted goffer and wannabee gangster is now re-employed after taking a holiday in chokey. John Trollston
  • Score: 3

10:00pm Thu 9 Jan 14

faatmaan says...

this set up looks so amateur that it could be fronting an even more dodgy operator
this set up looks so amateur that it could be fronting an even more dodgy operator faatmaan
  • Score: 5

11:39pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Englishteacher says...

This is horrifying. Helene Simpkins has no integrity and clearly knows nothing about running a legitimate business. She brought Randford back after he'd showed himself to be a fraudster and out-and-out nasty piece of work, after going to great lengths to cut him off, and then justifies it by saying he's good for business! And what about the 20% share he's got invested, earned by defrauding those poor people? Why on earth haven't they had to hand it over? If the council grant this bunch a licence then we might all as well be living in Gotham City.
This is horrifying. Helene Simpkins has no integrity and clearly knows nothing about running a legitimate business. She brought Randford back after he'd showed himself to be a fraudster and out-and-out nasty piece of work, after going to great lengths to cut him off, and then justifies it by saying he's good for business! And what about the 20% share he's got invested, earned by defrauding those poor people? Why on earth haven't they had to hand it over? If the council grant this bunch a licence then we might all as well be living in Gotham City. Englishteacher
  • Score: 12

11:53pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Englishteacher says...

Either no idea or doesn't care about such a huge responsibility. She's so out of her depth submarines couldn't find her.
Either no idea or doesn't care about such a huge responsibility. She's so out of her depth submarines couldn't find her. Englishteacher
  • Score: 7

9:19am Fri 10 Jan 14

bradley red 1 says...

Ha ha,general manager running off with the takings,all seems to dodgy for me,laughing stock! clubbers invest your money elsewhere.
Ha ha,general manager running off with the takings,all seems to dodgy for me,laughing stock! clubbers invest your money elsewhere. bradley red 1
  • Score: 5

10:37am Fri 10 Jan 14

Al Smith says...

If this was an Eastenders storyline I'm sure people would comment about how unrealistic it was and that something like this couldn't possibly happen in real life!
If this was an Eastenders storyline I'm sure people would comment about how unrealistic it was and that something like this couldn't possibly happen in real life! Al Smith
  • Score: 4

12:35pm Fri 10 Jan 14

London2Swindon says...

I am absolutely amazed by the complete lack of business savvy. Where on earth did they learn business? Eastenders? It's like Danny Dyer buying a pub cash in Albert Square and getting a licence the next day.

Pure Soap Opera.

I was initially bouyed when I heard the news that this Swindon institution was re-opening and the buzz it generated. What a pity that this bunch seem to be close to REALLY putting the final nail in the coffin. The rooms deserves/deserved better!
I am absolutely amazed by the complete lack of business savvy. Where on earth did they learn business? Eastenders? It's like Danny Dyer buying a pub cash in Albert Square and getting a licence the next day. Pure Soap Opera. I was initially bouyed when I heard the news that this Swindon institution was re-opening and the buzz it generated. What a pity that this bunch seem to be close to REALLY putting the final nail in the coffin. The rooms deserves/deserved better! London2Swindon
  • Score: 6

12:15pm Mon 13 Jan 14

swindon281 says...

the two sisters are clearly total fools. I cant believe the council or the police allow this to go on. Convicted criminals running a business.

what happened to the donation that was to b made???
the two sisters are clearly total fools. I cant believe the council or the police allow this to go on. Convicted criminals running a business. what happened to the donation that was to b made??? swindon281
  • Score: 1

12:21pm Mon 13 Jan 14

swindon281 says...

'''Ms Simpkins rang the Adver several times to insist he had nothing to do with the club'''

A fraudster running a business that is taking money from the public! its not right!!
'''Ms Simpkins rang the Adver several times to insist he had nothing to do with the club''' A fraudster running a business that is taking money from the public! its not right!! swindon281
  • Score: 1

1:21pm Mon 13 Jan 14

gilly25 says...

wasn't the blond owner Paula Harris seeing Jack Savage before he sadly died? The least she can do is make good with the donation!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!!
wasn't the blond owner Paula Harris seeing Jack Savage before he sadly died? The least she can do is make good with the donation!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!! gilly25
  • Score: 2

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