Towy Valley bankrupt 'kept quiet about holiday home'

John Sanders was told his son's illness was the only reason he would not go to jail immediately.

John Sanders was told his son's illness was the only reason he would not go to jail immediately.

First published in News

A BANKRUPT kept quiet about a holiday home in Bulgaria and a £50,000 pay-off following an accident at work, a Swansea Crown Court judge heard today.

John Sanders, 39, was actually solvent when he declared himself bankrupt in November, 2007 and could have settled his debts of £22,500.

But he failed to tell the official receiver that he had received accident compensation or that he was investing in a new house at Belogradetz, 90 minutes from the Black Sea.

Sanders, of Heol Myrddin, Ffairfach, admitted concealing both assets from the official receiver and was jailed for 16 months, suspended for two years.

Judge Paul Thomas, said the illness of Sanders' son was the only reason he would not go to jail immediately.

His mother-in-law, Audrey Hutchinson, aged 60, of Parc Cawdor, Ffairfach, admitted concealing her interest in the property. She was jailed for 10 months, suspended for 12 months.

Sanders’ wife, Sacreena, 38, admitted aiding and abetting both her husband and her mother. She was made the subject of a 12-month community order.

Jonathan Austin, prosecuting, said all three declared themselves bankrupt in 2007, with John Saunders owing £22,500, Sacreena Saunders £64,000 and Hutchinson £60,000.

But a year before Saunders had been injured while working as a heavy goods vehicle driver and received £50,000 in compensation.

About £35,000 of that was to cover lost earnings future and past and should have been revealed to the receiver.

Despite her debts, Hutchinson managed to transfer £40,000 to Bulgaria where it was spent demolishing a property and building a new one.

Mr Austin said the receiver was in the process of trying to sell the house in a difficult market.

He said it had cost £40,000 to prosecute the trio but they now had no assets and there was no chance of recovering any money from them.

John Hipkin, the barrister representing John Sanders, said he and his wife had tried to provide a better life for their son, but it was a life they could not afford.

They took him abroad regularly and thought it would be cheaper to buy a property in one location.

Francis Jones, for Hutchinson, said she had amassed credit card debts and had been granted loan after loan despite being unemployed and living off benefits.

Judge Thomas said John Sanders deserved to go to jail but it would upset the family routine that was essential to his son.

He described Hutchinson as a “thoroughly dishonest individual, like your son-in-law.”

“When individuals become bankrupt other people they owe money to lose out,” he added.

“It is important that people account scrupulously about any assets they have or may come by.

“Audrey Hutchinson and John Sanders blatantly ignored that.”

John Sanders was also made the subject of a three-month 9.30pm to 7am curfew and Hutchinson was ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work for the community.

All three were also ordered to undergo a thinking skills course.

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