Belfast Telegraph

Couple behind Belfast restaurant Bourbon disqualified as directors

BY MARGARET CANNING

A restaurateur and her ex-husband who ran Bourbon in Belfast have been disqualified as directors for five years, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (Deti) announced.

Lynda Coulter (53), and Brian Smyth (61), were directors of BSLC Ltd, which operated one-time top restaurant Bourbon on Great Victoria Street. The business failed in the downturn and went into administration in 2009, owing nearly £0.5m.

Ms Coulter of Deramore Park on Belfast's Malone Road, and Mr Smyth of Gosford Castle in Markethill, Co Armagh, accepted that they had withheld around £280,000 in Paye, Vat and National Insurance from the Crown.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Ms Coulter said she was not working at the moment. "I'm currently just sitting at home painting," she said.

She said she did not understood the interest in the disqualification proceedings. "It's unfortunate that in these times that things like this are considered creditworthy. Both him (Mr Smyth) and I employed people for 30 years and helped them pay their mortgages.

"I just find it amusing that whenever life becomes difficult, something like this is of interest."

The pair also ran Charly's in Coleraine, which remains open. A member of staff yesterday said the pair were no longer working at the popular Co Londonderry eaterie, which was named after their daughter.

Bourbon was closed two years ago, then re-opened as Restaurant Victoria. That premises is now shut though its website says it will reopen at a new location.

In 2009 Ms Coulter's second husband Steven Deepak Kher, also of Deramore Park, was himself disqualified as a director for seven years over his conduct at the helm of Netcom Communications Limited and MMWSO.

Meanwhile, 43-year-old Shayne Nielson of Millgrove Park in Eglinton in Co Londonderry has been disqualified for six years over his conduct at the head of Subway franchisee Fresh Perspective Restaurants Ltd.

The company, which ran Subways located in Belfast, Lisburn and Bangor, went into liquidation in November 2011 owing £948,000.

He failed to pay Vat on toasted sandwiches, withheld £620,000 which was payable to the Crown for Paye, National Insurance and Vat and failed to file annual returns. He is the second director of the company to be given a boardroom ban.

And a Bangor man, who ran the Nevada Spur steak restaurant in Victoria Square, was also disqualified, this time for seven years. Jacques Diedericks of Ballymaconnell Road was a director of Baconstown Ltd.

The company went into liquidation in 2010 owing £1.1m. Mr Diedericks admitted over-paying himself and his wife between July 2009 and May 2010, and keeping back £348,000 in Paye, National Insurance and Vat.

A spokeswoman for the restaurant said yesterday: "Jacques left the business in August 2010. It is now 100% owned by Spur Corporation UK Limited."

Belfast Telegraph

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