Belfast restaurateur given nine-year disqualification

Bourbon restaurant on Great Victoria Street fell into administration in 2009

A FORMER restaurateur has been given a nine-year ban from company boardrooms after two restaurants she ran entered liquidation owing more than £1 million.

Lynda Coulter (55) of Deramore Park in Belfast was director of Loughgall Limited, the trading company of Bourbon Restaurant at Great Victoria Street in the city and Charlys outside Coleraine.

Ms Coulter, a former business partner of Michelin-starred chef Michael Deane, opened Bourbon in 2002 but it fell into administration in 2009 before finally being liquidated four years later.

The High Court in Belfast heard Ms Coulter acted as a director for the business despite being bankrupt.

And she also operated a so-called phoenix company where she repeated "a pattern of unfit conduct and failure to learn from a previous insolvency".

Loughgall Limted, which also ran the popular Charlys Restaurant on Newbridge Road, Coleraine, went into liquidation in May 2013 with assets of £247,500 but owing creditors £1,169,522.

The court was also told that Ms Coulter allowed the firm to retain £311,806 in various taxes due to the state between 2011 and 2013.

Meanwhile, the Limavady director of a demolition firm has been disqualified for seven years.

Joseph Strawbridge (74) of Ballyquin Road had been director of Bridge Line Demolition Limited, which was also a licensed carrier of special waste.

The firm went into liquidation in 2010 with estimated total assets available for creditors of £5,295 while it owed £387,939.

The High Court heard Mr Strawbridge allowed the business to hold on to £170,407 in taxes due to be paid while he also allowed cheques and direct debits to be tendered "without due regard to the prospect of their being honoured".

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access