The business partner of vilified print farmer Neill John has also received a lengthy disqualification, PrintWeek can reveal.
Clair Hunnisett (full name Clair Rosina Hunnisett) is listed at Companies House at the same address in Barry, South Wales as Neill Stuart Malcolm John, but is now understood to live in Pontyclun.
She has been disqualified from acting as a director for six years, effective from 1 May. The Insolvency Service said that the pair were barred from “directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company”.
Hunnisett's month of birth is January 1981, although she is also listed at Companies House with a date of January 1980.
Like John, Hunnisett’s disqualification relates to activities around Houseprint, which traded as The Printing House, and two previous companies operated by the duo: Ambeck Corporation and Tyson Media. The companies claimed to offer low price book, journal and magazine printing services.
The track record of failures involved escalating losses for creditors. Ambeck went into liquidation owing £151,328; the print farming business then continued through Tyson Media leaving creditors owed £314,960, and when that firm continued through Houseprint, it also went on to fail leaving a total deficiency of £493,011.
In addition, John’s disqualification also includes matters relating to a fourth company, Masterclass Associates, with creditors left out of pocket there to the tune of £202,149.
Neither Hunnisett or John disputed the fact that they had “caused or allowed Houseprint Limited to continue to use a flawed business model which had been instrumental in the failure of two [three in the case of John] previous companies”, of which the pair were appointed directors.
Customers, many of them self-publishers, were left out of pocket after the print jobs they had paid for failed to materialise, or arrived weeks late. The individual amounts involved were relatively small, but the cumulative figures added up to a lot and were damaging to the many individuals involved.
The trail of unpaid bills included print suppliers in the UK, and latterly on the continent after word of the duo’s reputation spread here.
The disqualification order also means that John and Hunnisett are not allowed to arrange for another person or persons to manage a company under their instruction. If they did, the people involved could be prosecuted for assisting the disqualified directors.
Hunnisett was also formerly a director at two other related companies that were struck off the register of companies last year: Printed Books and Offset Printers.
Meanwhile, just two months ago John was linked with new website fronts that were yet again accused of operating in the same vein. The websites were connected to Hardback Printer, a company incorporated by John.
PrintWeek understands that it is possible that further action could be taken over the running of other businesses connected to the duo.
The print farming firms named above are in no way connected to Hampshire-based The Printing Press Ltd; specialist letterpress printer and bindery Book Printers Ltd of Finedon, Northamptonshire; Crewe-based The Printing House Ltd; UKPrint.biz, which is a trading name of Ruby Giraffe Ltd of Manchester; www.bookprintinguk.com which is run by Bonacia Ltd in Peterborough, or www.magprint.co.uk which is part of Stephens & George Print Group.