Press release

30 months' jail: bankrupt sought to pervert the course of justice

Dorset bankrupt sentenced to a total of 30 months imprisonment after pleading guilty to two counts of perverting the course of public justice.

Rodney Brian Locke, 49, of Shaftesbury, Dorset was sentenced after pleading guilty to two counts of perverting the course of public justice in relation to bankruptcy proceedings at Yeovil County Court and a debt action at Northampton County Court.

He was also found guilty on one count of carrying on a business without notifying the name in which he was adjudged bankrupt and three counts of obtaining credit without disclosing his bankrupt status following a hearing at Bristol Crown Court on 4 April 2016.

Mr Locke’s conviction follows an initial investigation by the Insolvency Service and a full criminal investigation and prosecution by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The court heard Mr Locke was originally adjudged bankrupt in the name of Lawrence R Locke trading as LRL Property Services of Bene’t, Cann. Bene’t was the former name of Tudor House, his residence. The bankruptcy debt was approximately £2,500 in relation to building materials purchased from the local branch of a national builder’s merchant. He engaged on a lengthy course of deceiving the Yeovil County Court by denying that he was the bankrupt and maintaining that Tudor House and Bene’t were separate properties, that he was not Lawrence R Locke and that he had been out of the country for a number of years including the relevant period.

Mr Locke engaged in similar deceptions in relation to a debt action for the purchase of fuel and other services from a local garage business. The investigation found he rented a lock-up from a local farm without disclosing that he had been made bankrupt in the name of Lawrence R Locke and obtained £12,177 credit in relation to UPVC double glazing products and a range cooker purchased from two local businesses and finance to buy a commercial vehicle.

Commenting on the case, Deputy Chief Investigating Officer, Liam Mannall, from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills said:

Mr Locke’s actions have resulted in him receiving a substantial period of imprisonment. The original bankruptcy was for a relatively low amount but he chose a course of conduct in obtaining credit, and to then concoct a web of deceit, to cover his tracks. Once this unravelled he found himself before the court.

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills will pursue allegations of criminal misconduct by bankrupts and where appropriate put individuals before the criminal courts. The consequences can be severe as demonstrated by the sentence handed down in this case.

Notes to editors

Rodney Brian Locke is of Tudor House, Cann, Shaftesbury, Dorset. His date of birth is 4 August 1966.

BIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies. Further information about the work of the Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team is available.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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