"I'm flabbergasted" says disgraced former councillor Tony Ramsden after being found guilty of bankruptcy charge (From Bournemouth Echo)
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"I'm flabbergasted" says disgraced former councillor Tony Ramsden after being found guilty of bankruptcy charge
A DISGRACED former councillor said he was “completely flabbergasted” after being found guilty of obtaining credit as an undisclosed bankrupt yesterday.
A jury returned a unanimous verdict on Anthony Ramsden-Geary, 44, of Western Road, Poole, after just 47 minutes.
The defendant, who was elected to Bournemouth Borough Coun-cil in May 1999 as a Conservative councillor, muttered “fabulous” as Judge John Harrow told him he may face a custodial sentence.
He had denied the single charge, which relates to a sum of £25,000 borrowed from business partner Christopher Wardrop in 2007.
Speaking after the three-day trial, father-of-three Ramsden-Geary said: “I am astonished by the verdict.
“If I was guilty, I would have pleaded guilty, and that way I wouldn’t have had to go through this trial. It’s an absolute shock.”
Ramsden-Geary, previously the chairman of the licensing committee and a member of both the environment and planning comm-ittees at the borough council, left the court quickly after the verdict in a black Range Rover with a personalised licence plate.
He added: “I wasn’t expecting this at all.
“I’m absolutely flabbergasted.”
Ramsden-Geary’s estranged wife Harriet, from whom he has been separated since May, took the stand yesterday morning to defend her husband.
She told the court that she and the defendant needed to borrow money after getting a mortgage on a house in Flaghead Road in 2007. After the family moved in, the house was revalued, adding a further £25,000 to the bill.
Mrs Ramsden-Geary said the money was loaned with the understanding that it would be reimbursed through commission made on the business launched by the couple and Mr Wardrop, Planning Solutions Ltd.
But Mr Wardrop said he believed the money was for a new property for the defendant’s parents in Bath Hill Court, and that it would be repaid within three weeks.
Ramsden-Geary has already pleaded guilty to five further offences under the Insolvency Act.
Two of the charges relate to taking part in the management of a company whilst an undischarged bankrupt, two concern the contravention of a restriction on the re-use of a company name, and one to making a material omission in bankruptcy.
He will be sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on September 27.
Ramsden’s rise and fall
- May 1999 – Anthony Ramsden-Geary elected to Bournemouth Borough Council
- May 2003 – Re-elected as councillor
- November 2003 – Steps down from the council after being declared bankrupt for the second time
- February 2011 – Planning Solutions Ltd, of which Ramsden-Geary is a partner, fined £3,600 for breaking advertising rules. Ramsden-Geary pleads guilty to 12 offences at Bournemouth Magistrates’ Court after the company displays advertising boards illegally at a number of sites across town between May and July 2010
- Winter 2011 – Planning Solutions Ltd submits plans for a £150 million scheme for Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens
- June 2013 – Winter Gardens scheme unanimously rejected by councillors. Ramsden-Geary is revealed to be bankrupt for the third time
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