Keith Ward, his wife Jacqueline Ward, their son Adam Ward and Adams wife Meeka were all sentenced at Worcester Crown Court on 6 November 2015, having all previously pleaded guilty to various offences relating to their conduct in the management and running of Gutterfast Ltd.
The case followed an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The offences were officers of under section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986, section 216 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and section 8 of the Accessories an Abettors Act 1861.
The orders made were as follows:
Keith William Ward, a disqualified director: 6 months imprisonment and disqualified from being a director for 6 years
Adam Ward: 6 months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. He was further ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and disqualified for 5 years
Jacqueline Ward: a 12 month Community Order was made requiring her to complete 50 hours of unpaid work
Meeka Ward: a 12 month Community Order involving 100 hours of unpaid work
All parties were also ordered to pay the Victim Surcharge.
The investigation by the Insolvency Service and BIS showed that between 22 July 2011 and 24 April 2012, Keith Ward (71) acted in the management of Gutterfast Limited, whilst subject to a disqualification undertaking of 4 years.
It was also shown that between 12 September 2011 and 24 April 2012, Adam Ward (41) acted in the management of Gutterfast Limited, whilst being subject to a disqualification undertaking. Both men were also shown to have used the prohibited name Gutterfast between 23 May 2009 and 24 April 2012. Furthermore, their respective wives Jacqueline Ward (67) and Meeka Ward (31), were shown to have aided and abetted the commission of these offences.
In sentencing all parties, His Honour Judge Juckes QC remarked:
notwithstanding your undertakings both of you continued to act as shadow directors a flagrant breach of statute.
The Judge stated, that both men, had been assisted by their wives in committing the offences.
Glenn Wicks, the officer in charge of the BIS investigation said:
Disqualification orders are made to keep dodgy directors out of companies and to stop innocent creditors being ripped off. The courts clearly see these as very serious offences and age does not prevent offenders being sent to prison.