UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: Former Prison Officer Escapes Jail

Press Release   •   Feb 15, 2010 10:40 GMT

A bankrupt former prison officer from Leeds has been given a nine month suspended prison sentence for failing to tell the Official Receiver about his debts and land he owned, following a prosecution by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Paul Andrew Roberts, a property developer and former prison officer from Wortley pleaded guilty to five charges under the Insolvency Act 1986 at Leeds Crown Court.

Roberts was made bankrupt in September 2006 owing creditors over £128,000. However, he failed to tell the Official Receiver about a debt of almost £300,000, a half completed house in Wetherby, a credit card, bank account and a hire-purchase agreement on his car.

Roberts then attempted to have his bankruptcy annulled claiming he was able to pay off his creditors, but failed to attend court. After months of investigation, the Official Receiver discovered the full extent of Roberts’ deceit and referred the case to BIS for prosecution.

Paul Roberts was sentenced on Friday 12 February to 36 weeks custody suspended for 18 months, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 costs.

Notes to Editors

  • Paul Andrew Roberts plead guilty to the following charges at Leeds Crown Court:
  • Failing to disclose all property comprised in your estate to the Official receiver contrary to Sections 353(1)(a) and 350(6) of the Insolvency Act 1986;
  • Concealing a debt whilst bankrupt contrary to Sections 354(1)(b) and 350(6) of the Insolvency Act 1986; and
  • Three counts of a bankrupt making a material omission in a statement made under Section 291 of the Insolvency Act contrary to Sections 356(1) and 350(6) of the Insolvency Act 1986;
  • Please contact the Department for Business press office on 0207 215 3496 for more information.

    Notes to editors

    Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

    The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.


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