Construction boss jailed after £60k pensioner fraud

A construction boss who defrauded a pensioner of £60,000 has been jailed and banned from being a company director.

Adam Kirkbride was sentenced to four years in jail after he was found guilty of defrauding an investor and of breaching a director ban, according to the Insolvency Service.

The 32-year-old had committed to buying land for a housing development in Greater Manchester. But Kirkbride siphoned off the £60,000 invested in the firm by a pensioner, the Insolvency Service found.

Newcastle Crown Court heard earlier this month that Kirkbride convinced the pensioner to invest the money from his pension, “believing his money was secure”, the Insolvency Service said.

He also convinced the pensioner that the money would be recoverable if the development did not go ahead, it added.

The unnamed pensioner made the investment on the condition that it could not be used until Kirkbride had raised £2m in investment for the scheme.

But the court heard that Kirkbride used all the money within three weeks on bills and loan repayments.

The fraudulent act left the pensioner having to work four years longer than he had intended to and retiring with a lower income than he had anticipated, according to the Insolvency Service.

Kirkbride was also managing three businesses at the time, despite being in the middle of a 12-year director ban.

In 2017, he was banned from being a director after he was found to be managing companies despite being declared bankrupt in 2012.

He first breached that ban in 2018 as a director of APK Construction Services UK Ltd, and then took up further directorships at APK Holdings (Cumbria) Ltd and Able Skip Hire Ltd.

Insolvency Service chief investigator Julie Barnes said the offences “involved deceit, dishonesty, and deliberate concealment of his status as someone prohibited from acting in the management of a company”.

“Kirkbride was motivated purely by personal gain and his fraudulent behaviour involved the abuse of power, trust and responsibility,” she added.

“His actions caused serious financial losses and he now has the chance to reflect on his criminal behaviour from behind bars.”

Kirkbride, of Cobble End, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, which was contrary to Section 4 of the Fraud Act 2006.

He also pleaded guilty to three breaches of a bankruptcy order contrary to section 11 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and three breaches of a director disqualification order, contrary to Section 13 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Along with the jail sentence, Kirkbride is now banned from serving as a director until April 2036.

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