Ex-BHS owner Chappell guilty in pension case

The businessman at the helm of BHS when it collapsed is facing an unlimited fine after being convicted of failing to co-operate with The Pensions Regulator (TPR).

Dominic Chappell, who bought the chain for £1 from Sir Philip Green a year before it entered administration in 2016, was convicted of three counts of neglecting or refusing to provide information and documents.

During the four day trial at Brighton Magistrates Court, the prosecutor described how the case centred on official requests for information both before and after BHS collapsed.

Then, 11,000 staff lost their jobs while the retailer had a pension deficit of £571m – though Sir Philip later agreed to pay £363m to help plug the black hole.

While giving evidence in his defence, Mr Chappell insisted he had given his all in trying to comply with TPR’s requests – saying his efforts had taken a toll on his health.

He claimed many documents had been destroyed before he took control of the business and he was prevented from entering BHS offices for months after BHS ceased trading.

His lawyer said TPR’s case was the result of “50 years of their negligence and we say Mr Chappell is the scapegoat for that.”

More from Business

The prosecution accused him of making up his defence as he went along.

More follows…