Doris Stainer (pictured), wife of Michael Stainer, is facing arrest after failing to return to the UK from Germany, according to the latest report in Court News UK. Her failure to appear alongside her husband on May 4th at Southwark Crown Court, for the opening stages of their trial for tax fraud caused Judge Martin Beddoe to comment:
“‘So she went the day after requisition was issued, unaware that it had been issued. This court is open and the presumption is that everyone attends and that’s been the case for quite some time. I’m issuing a warrant* ‘not back for bail’ on condition that she returns within fourteen days and that she resides at her address.’
The couple allegedly failed to pay income tax and national insurance contributions due under a registered PAYE scheme called ‘The Grand Folkestone’ between 2011 and 2015. They are also charged with failing to pay income tax and national insurance contributions due under another PAYE scheme named ‘Kentish Estates Ltd’ between 2011 and 2012 and another charge of false representation.
Mrs Stainer did not appear or enter a plea and was ordered to appear on 14 June ahead of the full trial on 3rd May 2022. Defending counsel, James Palfrey said:
“…..she went to Germany on the 26 January, to care for her elderly mother. Mrs Stainer would have to borrow money to return to the UK and pay for quarantine.”
It is worth noting that when Mrs Stainer went to Germany, she was accompanied by a very large yellow German pantechnicon from Hanover, full of possessions and furniture, as pictured on January 21st below:
Whether she can be compelled to appear is questionable as there is no longer an extradition agreement between Germany and the UK following Brexit. In addition, she is also facing bankruptcy proceedings following Mr Stainer’s bankruptcy on March 8th, 2021. Her case was adjourned as Canterbury County Court had first to agree service of the papers to Germany.
This might not be the end of her troubles. Prior to Mrs Stainer’s first bankruptcy in November 2018, and right up until lockdown, and despite her 13 flats being vested in her Trustee in Bankruptcy, she continued to run a flourishing holiday-let business that grossed, by Mr Stainer’s own admission, some £300,000 to £400,000 per annum but was not, to the best of our knowledge, VAT registered.
According to the Hotels and Holiday accommodation (VAT Notice 709/3):
“If you supply holiday accommodation, or a site for such accommodation, you must account for VAT at either the standard rate (or the temporary reduced rate) on any charges that you make regardless of the length of occupation or description of the charges.”
* The Bail Act 1976 (BA 1976) provides that if a defendant fails to appear at court to answer bail, the court may issue a warrant for their arrest. This is sometimes called a bench warrant.
A defendant who is granted bail by the court must comply with whatever procedure is prescribed by the court for answering their bail.
If the defendant fails to comply with that procedure, a warrant may be issued with or without bail:
If issued without bail, the defendant will be kept in police custody having been arrested until the next available court date, or
If issued with bail, the defendant will be released on bail having been arrested with a duty to appear at court on the date and time specified in warrant.
What action the court or anyone else will take if she fails to return is anyone’s guess. All we can do is sit and wait and hope she returns to face justice.
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