Bust company boss failed to disclose pension plan details, court hears

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

A COMPANY boss who withheld details of a pension plan when his business went bust came close to being jailed yesterday.

Judge Peter Bowers told John Hillhouse, 60, that he had deliberately avoided giving his creditors cash from the £20,000 fund.

After his cash and carry business faltered, he entered into an individual voluntary arrangement with debts of £40,000.

Teesside Crown Court heard that he should have disclosed details of all of his assets and liabilities to the Official Receiver.

Hillhouse agreed to pay 48p in the pound to HM Revenues and Customs and the firms to which he owed money in 2009.

Last year, it emerged that he also had a pension fund which he had not disclosed, prosecutor Simon Clegg told the court.

Hillhouse, who represented himself in court, claimed he had been told the retirement plan was exempt from his assets.

He told Judge Bowers that he had “no wish” to be sent to prison, and denied deliberately withholding the information.

Hillhouse, of High Street, Marske, near Redcar, east Cleveland, admitted making a fraudulent declaration as a debtor.

He was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with £1,000 costs and 200 hours of community work.

Judge Bowers told him: “The only reason I am suspending it, is because these matters did occur some time ago.

“You have rebuilt your life and it would seem a shame to put you in prison at this stage.”

The court heard that Hillhouse now works part-time for a supermarket – a job he described as “a lifeline”.

Comments (2)

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11:45pm Tue 6 Nov 12

Davy Crocket says...

Time should never be used as an excuse to give a lesser punishments. In fact it should be the other way around .... that judge has let the victims down in my opinion.
Time should never be used as an excuse to give a lesser punishments. In fact it should be the other way around .... that judge has let the victims down in my opinion. Davy Crocket
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Tashpotato says...

It is a sad sad day when a court stands a 60 year old man in court for something so long ago, when he is paying 48p of each pound, and gives him a sentence like this.
What if he really was ill advised with his pension? Would you really expect anyone who has no money and so close to retirement to give their pension up too? what would he live on?
All i can say is thank god you aren't a judge then Davy.

The world is filled with horrible things like war, famine, terrible illnesses etc, and pointless rubbish like this about a 60 year old man from marske is in the paper? naming him and the road he lives on?

The papers and news fill gullible peoples head with what they want them to believe, do you know this man? Do you know his full story? I don't, but Im not going to sit on my fat arse and judge him for what a paper writes.
It is a sad sad day when a court stands a 60 year old man in court for something so long ago, when he is paying 48p of each pound, and gives him a sentence like this. What if he really was ill advised with his pension? Would you really expect anyone who has no money and so close to retirement to give their pension up too? what would he live on? All i can say is thank god you aren't a judge then Davy. The world is filled with horrible things like war, famine, terrible illnesses etc, and pointless rubbish like this about a 60 year old man from marske is in the paper? naming him and the road he lives on? The papers and news fill gullible peoples head with what they want them to believe, do you know this man? Do you know his full story? I don't, but Im not going to sit on my fat arse and judge him for what a paper writes. Tashpotato
  • Score: 1

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