Guardian storage scandal - director banned for five years but NO criminal charges brought (From Worcester News)
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Guardian storage scandal - director banned for five years but NO criminal charges brought
THE boss of a Worcester storage company has been banned from acting as company director for five years after cashing in on the sale of containers, but no criminal charges have so far been brought against him.
People finally gained entry to Guardian Self Storage Ltd, in Sherriff Street Industrial Estate, in November 2012 only to find their belongings were gone.
Some stood stony-faced while others wept after finally gaining entry follow ing an anxious four-month wait only to find their worst nightmares had come true.
Now Graham Michael Bradbury, the director of a Worcester-based storage company which went into liquidation owing £178,626 to creditors, has been disqualified from acting as a director for five years, for selling assets that did not belong to the company and paying some creditors to the detriment of others.
Mr Bradbury’s disqualification follows investigation by the Insolvency Service.
The 42-year-old, of Malvern, traded out of premises on estate in Worcester from April 2006 until the firm was liquidated in October 2012.
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills accepted a five-year undertaking from Mr Bradbury, banning him from acting as a company director or from managing or controlling a limited company from 13 May 2014 until 2019.
One of those affected was Jeanette Weir, a widow of Droitwich, who lost up to £30,000-worth of possessions, some of which were irreplaceable photographs, gifts and family heirlooms of great sentimental value.
She said: “I think a lot more should be done. A lot of people have been affected by it.
“People have lost everything but received no compensation, the way everything was handled was disgraceful.
“He should be held personally and financially responsible.
He did not contact customers to forewarn them. He failed in his duty of care. All my stuff disappeared. The padlocks were cut off the containers.
My stuff was removed. What happened to my stuff is criminal. Someone has stolen that stuff or sold it on. There is no way I can ever replaced those photographs. It was devastating." The investigation showed that baliffs working to recover rent arrears on behalf of the company's landlord had seized assets on Guardian's premises. Following this Mr Bradbury did not dispute selling 29 containers owned by Guardian for £29,000 in October 2012.
This money was not used to pay tcreditors, includ - ing the landlord, the bank and HMRC. Instead, Mr Bradbury stated the money was used to pay wages to sub-contract labourers, re - dundancy, a solicitor, an accountant, the prospective liquidator and to repay a loan made by an employee.
Sue MacLeod, chief investigator of Midlands and West at the Insolvency Service, said: “The law is very clear: all creditors of an insolvent company should be treated fairly so that each gets a share of any pay-out.”
Mr Bradbury was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
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