Bankrupt businessman cleared of cover-up

A BANKRUPT Ipswich businessman who once led a champagne lifestyle is today rebuilding his life after being cleared of a £30,000 cover-up.Ross Turtill, famous in Suffolk for the catchy radio jingle that advertised his double glazing business, once earned a salary of up to £150,000.

A BANKRUPT Ipswich businessman who once led a champagne lifestyle is today rebuilding his life after being cleared of a £30,000 cover-up.

Ross Turtill, famous in Suffolk for the catchy radio jingle that advertised his double glazing business, once earned a salary of up to £150,000.

Since those heady days, the 53-year-old has seen his C&R Windows business go bust and he and his wife, Kathleen, declared bankrupt.

This saw them forced to sell many of their assets, including their four-bedroom Foxhall Road home of 15 years.

And since September, the couple have also had charges of failing to account for money taken out of their bank account hanging over them.

But now they have been cleared of any wrongdoing, after magistrates in Ipswich found them both not guilty of the charge.

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Addressing Mrs Turtill, 55, bench chairman John Horton said she had "left no points unanswered under public examination".

Mrs Turtill broke down as the verdict was delivered.

Turning to Mr Turtill, 53, Mr Horton said: "We do not consider the prosecution has proved the case to the high standard required for a criminal conviction. You are not guilty."

The couple, of Heathfield, Martlesham, were declared bankrupt in March 2002, just months after Mr Turtill's business went into liquidation in September 2001.

But on August 24, Mr Turtill withdrew £29,233 from his bank account after fearing it would be frozen.

The Department of Trade and Industry, who prosecuted the case, argued had been stashed away, possibly in an overseas bank account, to prevent it being seized.

The Turtills denied this and listed various ways in which the money was spent.

They said £10,000 had gone to Reg Mills, the Berkshire-based owner of Dream Windows, where Turtill now works, to clear a debt.

Another £10,000 was spent putting their two children through university, £1,400 on a Mondeo car and the rest on general living expenses, socialising, a holiday and alcohol.

But they could not provide receipts for any of their purchases, which did not show up on their bank accounts.

Gareth Davies, defending, said: "It's quite clear they were drinking and alcohol is not cheap. You can fritter money away quite easily.

"They were enjoying a good lifestyle."

He added Mr Tutill had withdrawn the cash in a moment of "panic". He then kept it under his mattress and paid for everything with cash.

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