Director convicted of running wine business when banned

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Jane Goodfellow, 58, and Clare Watts, 54, of Somerset, both received suspended sentences at Taunton Crown Court after pleading guilty to running a business while Goodfellow was disqualified.

Goodfellow pleaded guilty to acting as a manager while disqualified and operating a business under a banned name at Taunton Crown Court on April 12. She was sentenced to 4 months in prison suspended for 18 months and 80 hours of unpaid work. She also saw her disqualification as director extended for another 10 years.

Clare Watts pleaded guilty to operating a business under a banned name. She was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and fined £ 200. In addition, she signed a commitment disqualifying her as a director for 7 years.

Jane Goodfellow was the director of Peaceflight Ltd when it went into liquidation in August 2003. An investigation revealed that she was trading to the detriment of creditors and the tax authorities. She was therefore disqualified from being a corporate director for 11 years from March 2006.

In October 2013, The Yeovil Wine Vaults Ltd was incorporated with Clare Watts as sole director.

Following the liquidation of the company in March 2017, the Insolvency Department opened confidential investigations into the conduct of the directors.

The court heard that Jane Goodfellow was acting as the unofficial director of the company. She has been described as the “chief decision maker” by employees, signing company checks, handling salaries and taking responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the company.

Jane Goodfellow and Clare Watts were both invited to an interview to explain their roles at the company, but neither agreed.

Glenn Wicks, Chief Insolvency Investigator, said:

Jane Goodfellow was well aware of the restrictions she faced as a disqualified director. Despite this, she played an important role in the management of The Yeovil Wine Vaults Ltd. While Clare Watts was on the board of directors, she let Jane Goodfellow act as one, save her name, despite her long ban.

This sentence shows that we will not hesitate to take action against non-playing directors when appropriate and the two defendants have been estranged from the business world for a long time.

Notes to Editors

Jane Goodfellow is from Milborne Port, Somerset and her date of birth is March 1963

Clare Watts is from Milborne Port, Somerset and her date of birth is May 1967

The Yeovil Wine Vaults Ltd – company number 08752877

Jane Goodfellow pleaded guilty to one count of acting as a director while being disqualified and one count of operating a business under a banned name.

Clare Watts pleaded guilty to operating a business under a banned name.

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