‘Business incompetence’ blamed as pair jailed for failing to pay £400k tax
PUBLISHED: 17:24 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 17:24 03 October 2017
A Suffolk couple who failed to pay more than £400,000 tax have each been jailed for two years and six months.
Gisele Dineur and Leslie Saxby ran a vintage clothing and bespoke tailoring business which had a warehouse in Ipswich and shop premises in London, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Mother-of-two Dineur, 41, of Hill House Lane, Needham Market, and Leslie Saxby, 68, formerly of London but now living with his wife, admitted cheating the public revenue by failing to pay VAT, corporation tax, income tax, PAYE tax and national insurance contributions.
The offence took place between September 1, 2009 and April 5, 2015.
In addition to being jailed the couple were each disqualified from being company directors for 10 years.
Matthew Sorel-Cameron, prosecuting, said the amount involved in respect of Dineur was £254,000 and £171,000 for Saxby, making a total of £426,000.
He told the court that the couple, who were married and have two children, had a shop in Fulham High Street which sold vintage clothing and offered a bespoke tailoring service and a warehouse in Ipswich.
The business was initially run as a company called David Saxby Ltd between 2009 and 2011 but was then operated by Dineur between 2011 and 2015 as a sole trader as David Saxby Sporting Tweeds and Formal Wear.
He said the couple were involved in both business entities and had failed to pay a number of taxes.
Michael Warren, for Saxby, said his client had been an extremely successful bespoke tailor and had provided clothing for the upper echelons of society for the shooting season and at events such as Royal Ascot.
He claimed business incompetence was to blame for the offence and said Saxby, who was known as David Saxby, hadn’t understood the gravity of what he had done at the time of the offence.
Mr Warren said his client had handed the keys back on the shop in London and the warehouse in Ipswich had also shut.
He said Saxby hadn’t set out to be dishonest and was remorseful.
Rakesh Sharma, for Dineur, said she was 27 years younger than her husband and although she had some idea what was going on in the business she wasn’t the driving force.