Company director who failed to keep adequate accounts for Freiston firm is given community service order

A company director who failed to keep adequate accounts while running a Lincolnshire firm has been ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work by a judge.

Company director in court

Lincoln Crown Court heard Oliver Dilley, 34, of Wyberton, was the director of Freiston Farm Services Ltd between March 2013 and February 2015.

Max Mills, prosecuting for the Insolvency Service, said Dilley accepted that he failed to keep adequate accounts during his time as a director of the company.

Mr Mills added: "He does say he acted honestly, or better put, not dishonestly."

HMRC issued a winding up petition against the company in May 2016 and shortly after the Official Receiver sent a questionaire to Dilley, the court heard.

Mr Mills said Dilley failed to attend when invited for interview by the Insolvency Service and later explained that the books had been passed to another man who bought the company in October 2014.

Tara McCarthy, mitigating, said Dilley had began working in the family business as a vegetable cutter at the age of 14 and inherited the unsuitable role of being a director.

"He tried his best, but it was too much for him," Miss McCarthy added.

The court was told Dilley had now returned to selling plants and vegetables at markets in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, but his income had been badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dilley, of Parthian Avenue, Wyberton, pleaded guilty to s single charge of failing to keep adequate accounting records.

He was sentenced to a 12 month community order and 180 hours of unpaid work in the community.

The court heard Dilley also agreed to a voluntary disqualification as a company director until May 2028.

Passing sentence Judge John Pini QC said he accepted that Dilley had not operated in a dishonest way.

The judge told him: "You were a director of the family business, Freiston Farm Services for about two years.

"I accept your previous job was cutting vegetables and you found yourself in a new role for which you had no experience and were ill fitted."