Former BHS owner due to be sentenced

Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell is due to be re-sentenced for failing to provide vital documents to the pensions watchdog.

The 52-year-old ex-racing driver was found guilty in January of failing to give the Pensions Regulator (TPR) information about the firm’s pension schemes when it collapsed with the loss of thousands of jobs.

He was ordered to pay more than £87,000, including a £50,000 fine.

Chappell appealed his conviction, claiming he “did everything in his power” to help TPR but had been “drowning in paperwork” as he was investigated by five Government departments.

British Home Stores in administration
Former BHS owner Dominic Chappell (Gareth Fuller/PA)

But the judge dismissed his appeal in September, branding his evidence “entirely unbelievable”.

Judge Christine Henson QC, overseeing the appeal at Hove Crown Court, adjourned re-sentencing for the three offences to allow Chappell to present details of his income.

Chappell is expected to appear at the same court on Friday to be handed a new sentence.

At the appeal, his solicitor Michael Levy told the court that Chappell was on the brink of bankruptcy which meant he was unable to afford the £50,000 fine previously issued.

Mr Levy said his client was still subject to financial penalties including £20,000 by the Insolvency Service, and added: “The financial situation is grim.”

Chappell bought British Home Stores for £1 from billionaire Sir Philip Green in March 2015, but the high street chain went into administration in April 2016, leaving a £571 million pension deficit.

Sir Philip later agreed to pay £363 million towards this.

TPR launched an investigation after the sale over concerns about two pension schemes representing 19,000 members of staff.

Chappell was issued with two notices in March and April 2016, known as section 72s under the Pensions Act 2004, before being handed a warning notice in November that year.