Would-be mayor Spud Murphy taken to court over wound-up firm
A BRISTOL mayoral candidate has appeared in court in a row over £53,600 allegedly owed to liquidators of a folded Avonmouth company.
It is claimed that Albert Edward 'Spud' Murphy was a "de facto" director of bus shelter provider NSS Solutions Ltd before it went bust – leaving him partly liable.
It is also alleged that Mr Murphy, pictured, made inappropriate payments from the company to his own firm, AEM Avon Ltd, which has now gone in to liquidation.
But Mr Murphy says he was merely a shadow director and that the payments were for debts he was owed.
This week's delicious £5 5 O'CLOCKTAIL is a refreshing Tequila Sunrise. Available everyday from our Bar for only £5 between 5pm & 7pm.
Terms: £5 cocktail applies to the cocktail of the week.
Contact: 0117 2448281
Valid until: Monday, May 27 2013
At Bristol County Court yesterday, it was heard that Mr Murphy offered to help Nigel Sweet, director of NSS Solutions, to invest his money into the company which would provide bus shelters to councils.
The new company was created to replace a dissolved business which was struggling to make a profit out of the same trade.
It was heard that Mr Murphy lent money and supplied premises and equipment to get newly formed NSS Solutions Ltd off the ground in July 2004. But after six months of trading, in February 2005, the liquidator was called in to wind up the new company. In the months leading up to the liquidation, it is alleged that Mr Murphy made payments to AEM Avon Ltd.
Hugh Sims, representing liquidator Alison Byrne, told the judge: "The new company was operated much like a joint enterprise, but Mr Murphy was in practical control.
"Mr Sweet is not as sophisticated a businessman as Mr Murphy. He was unaware of the complexity of the situation when they went into business together."
Mr Sims added: "The company was unable to pay debts when they were due. When it became clear that the company was going down, Mr Murphy sent money back to AEM Avon."
Mr Murphy, representing himself, claimed that Mr Sweet called in the liquidators too early.
He said: "There was work to be had for the company but Mr Sweet just went along and folded the company. I know that if he had carried on trading there would have been more work."
Mr Murphy also claimed the accounts presented by Ms Byrne to the court were inaccurate. He questioned her about how sure she could be the company was insolvent when she was using incomplete records.
Mr Murphy said he was merely a shadow director of the company and had made the payments to service debts for assets he had provided for the business in the first place.
Mr Sims claimed that Mr Murphy was more than a shadow director in reality. He said: "This was not a case of Mr Murphy lurking in the shadows. His role was more as a de facto director."
He added: "The payments made to Mr Murphy's company were gratuitous payments."
The case continues.