The former owner of BHS, Dominic Chappell, should not be allowed to “muddy the waters” by referring to irrelevant information, a court has heard.
Chappell bought BHS for £1 through his vehicle Retail Acquisitions in 2015, a year before it collapsed. He was ordered to pay a fine of £50,000 and £37,000 in costs in January, for failing to provide information to The Pensions Regulator.
He was found to have failed to provide necessary information to The Pensions Regulator about the department store chain’s pension schemes when it collapsed with the loss of thousands of jobs.
Barrister Alex Stein, who was representing The Pension’s Regulator at an appeal hearing in Hove yesterday, said: “An attempt to muddy the waters and draw in irrelevant material [is] nothing more than a cynical attempt to rewrite history.”
Stein said the prosecution’s case centred on Chappell failing to respond to three statutory notices demanding information about BHS’s two pension schemes, which represented 19,000 people.
He was issued with two section 72 notices in March and April 2016, followed by a warning notice in November that year, the paper said.
Chappell said he had been ill and travelling abroad during the period in question, but Stein said no medical evidence or travel logs had been provided so far.
It is still unclear if Chappell will be called to give evidence in the appeal, which could last until Friday.