Con­man care home on of­fer for £1.75m

Southport Visiter - - Front Page - BY JAMIE LOPEZ [email protected]­plc.com @jamie_lopez1

THE care home run by a man who swin­dled el­derly res­i­dents out of mil­lions of pounds could be sold for more than £1.75m.

Its po­ten­tial sale comes as ad­min­is­tra­tors work to set­tle the debts of the for­mer Bar­ton Park Nurs­ing Home, which in­cludes more than £1.2m owed to Bar­clays Bank.

The home was shut down in Au­gust, weeks af­ter owner David Bar­ton Snr was jailed for 21 years af­ter the long­est trial in the his­tory of Liver­pool Crown Court – last­ing more than a year.

Bar­ton Snr be­friended then be­trayed his wealthy and vul­ner­a­ble vic­tims and was branded “de­spi­ca­ble” by trial judge Steven Everett, QC, who also said: “He is one of the most un­pleas­ant peo­ple, one of the most dis­hon­est peo­ple, one could ever meet.”

In Oc­to­ber, his sons David Richard Bar­ton and David Charles Bar­ton were cleared of money laun­der­ing charges which re­lated to dirty money be­ing stashed in their bank ac­counts by Bar­ton Snr.

The pair, who were both com­pany di­rec­tors, were never al­leged to have been in­volved in his crimes against the res­i­dents, but in his at­tempts to squir­rel away ill-got­ten gains.

Bar­ton Snr’s wife, Lucinda, has de­nied charges of con­spir­acy to steal, false ac­count­ing, con­spir­acy to de­fraud, theft and money laun­der­ing.

She was to stand trial in Novem­ber, but that date was va­cated and a new hear­ing has yet to be an­nounced.

Ad­min­is­tra­tors Grant Thorn­ton UK LLP were ap­pointed in Au­gust, af­ter the home was banned from tak­ing in new res­i­dents, then closed by the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments filed as part of the ad­min­is­tra­tion process, the busi­ness, which trades un­der the name Choice­clas­sic Ltd, was forced to ex­tend its over­draft fa­cil­ity to £700,000 in or­der to keep run­ning months be­fore its clo­sure.

The ad­min­is­tra­tor’s most re­cent fil­ings re­veal that the com­pany also has an out­stand­ing loan bal­ance with

£500k-plus.

Other debts in­clude £83,000 to trade cred­i­tors, £96,000 for em­ployee no­tices and re­dun­dan­cies and £31,000 to HMRC, while four other Ox­ford Road prop­er­ties are listed as as­sets.

The doc­u­ments also re­veal the com­pany is owed £1.8m by sub­sidiary com­pany Bar­ton Park Bar­clays of Health Spa Ltd – for which Bar­ton Snr is the only listed di­rec­tor – but, as the com­pany is no longer trad­ing, it is “un­likely the funds will be re­paid”.

Now the care home is listed for sale with Duxbury’s es­tate agents.

Its list­ing says that the home is set within one acre of grounds and com­prises two for­mer de­tached Vic­to­rian houses joined by a four­storey sec­tion.

It also has sev­eral con­ser­va­to­ries and sin­gle­storey ex­ten­sions and when used as a care home had space for 60 res­i­dents.

Duxbury’s is re­quest­ing of­fers in ex­cess of £1.75m for the prop­erty.

The for­mer Bar­ton Park care home, left; and con­man David Bar­ton, above, who was jailed for 21 years for swin­dling mil­lions from res­i­dents

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