Five-year ban for haulage firm director

Hughes Transport INPT2015-403
Hughes Transport INPT2015-403

A director of Portadown haulage company Hughes (Ireland) Limited has been disqualified from being a company director for five years.

Emma Laura Hughes (24), of Coharra Road, accepted the disqualification from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Undertakings were received for five years from Ms Hughes in respect of her conduct as a director of Hughes (Ireland).

The department found that the company carried on the business of freight transport by road from Coharra Road, Portadown and went into administration on August 23, 2012 with estimated total assets available to secured creditors of £354,000, liabilities to secured creditors of £354,000, liabilities to unsecured creditors of £1,073,741, and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £1,073,741.

The Department accepted the disqualification undertaking based on the following unfit conduct which was not disputed.

This entailed causing and permitting the company to retain monies due to the crown in the sum of £421,955 in respect of PAYE, NIC and VAT over the period April 2010 to August 2012. This consisted of £46,319 of PAYE due between April 2011 and August 2012, £122,681 of NIC due between April 2010 and August 2012 and £252,955 of VAT due between April 2010 and August 2012.

Also, causing and permitting the company to misuse a bank account in that a total of 143 cheques with a value of £203,508 were returned unpaid in the period 23 September 2011 to the date of administration. 17 of these cheques totalling £34,309 were returned unpaid for a second time, and one cheque in the sum of £600 was returned on a third occasion.

Hughes (Ireland) Limited has since ceased trading.

In 2013, Kieran Patrick Hughes (55), of the same address, was disqualified for 10 years in respect of his conduct as director of Hughes Chilled and Frozen Distribution Limited.

In May 2014, he was sentenced to six years in prison for his part in smuggling alcohol into the UK, to avoid paying nearly £2m in excise duty.