Busi­ness­man fac­ing prison splits from pros­e­cu­tor wife

The Herald on Sunday - - WHAT'S THE SCORE? - By Paul Hutcheon

A BUSI­NESS­MAN who is fac­ing prison after run­ning com­pa­nies while dis­qual­i­fied has agreed on a di­vi­sion of as­sets with his pros­e­cu­tor wife.

A le­gal doc­u­ment shows that Stephen Roberts, whose fi­nances are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Crown Of­fice, sep­a­rated from Nicola Pa­trick last year.

Ac­cord­ing to the agree­ment, Mr Roberts dis­charged any rights he may have had to their former mat­ri­mo­nial home in Troon, but he re­tained two cars.

A Sun­day Her­ald in­ves­ti­ga­tion in 2013 re­vealed that Mr Roberts was be­hind a health­care start-up, Log Six Sys­tems, that won a £50,000 prize at an en­trepreneurs’ event funded by the SNP Gov­ern­ment and Scot­tish En­ter­prise. Mr Roberts and an­other fig­ure who was as­so­ci­ated with the com­pany were handed a tro­phy by Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary John Swin­ney.

In a video of a speech at He­riot-Watt Univer­sity, which was un­con­nected to the prize-giv­ing event, Mr Roberts made bold claims about the firm: “We have de­vel­oped a high- ef­fi­cacy dis­in­fec­tant chem­i­cal, which has been proven to kill ev­ery pathogen known to man.”

A record­ing on a crowd­fund­ing web­site also showed him say­ing: “Log Six has the abil­ity to save lives, time and money on a global scale with proven tech­nol­ogy to a global prob­lem. And with your help we can make it hap­pen faster.”

How­ever, Mr Roberts was a former bank­rupt who was dis­qual­i­fied from be­ing a com­pany direc­tor for four years in 2010. The ban had been is­sued after he failed to en­sure a pre­vi­ous firm, In­nova Busi­ness So­lu­tions, had paid tax. An ap­peal judge had de­scribed him at the time as “eva­sive and de­vi­ous” in cross-ex­am­i­na­tion.

Fol­low­ing this news­pa­per’s ar­ti­cles, the busi­ness­man was charged with be­ing in­volved in the “for­ma­tion, pro­mo­tion and man­age­ment” of LSS and an­other com­pany, Nightingale In­ten­sive Sys­tems In­ter­na­tional, be­tween 2011 and 2014.

Ms Pa­trick, who is a procu­ra­tor fis­cal for homi­cide and ma­jor crime, was listed at Com­pa­nies House as hav­ing had the largest hold­ing of 8,997 shares in LSS in 2013. Her hus­band owned 7,503 shares, which gave the cou­ple a ma­jor­ity stake.

There is no sug­ges­tion Ms Pa­trick knew about the man­age­ment of the busi­ness at the time, or of the ac­tiv­i­ties of her hus­band. After a lengthy trial at Kil­marnock Sher­iff Court, Mr Roberts was re­cently found guilty of both charges after a sher­iff ruled he had been a “driv­ing force” of Nightingale and co-founder of LSS.

Ac­cord­ing to a Scot­tish Court Ser­vice spokesper­son, sen­tence was de­ferred after the High Court granted the Crown a “dis­clo­sure or­der” in re­la­tion to Mr Roberts and for a con­fis­ca­tion hear­ing.

It has now emerged that a “minute of agree­ment”, ef­fec­tively lay­ing down the terms of the cou­ple’s sep­a­ra­tion, was signed by Mr Roberts and his wife in Au­gust, weeks be­fore the ver­dict.

The doc­u­ment, avail­able from the Reg­is­ters of Scot­land ser­vice, stated that the cou­ple sep­a­rated in the sum­mer of 2017. The one- t i me mat­ri­mo­nial home, pur­chased by Ms Pa­trick for £350,000 in 2015, will stay with her, while Mr Roberts will re­tain a busi­ness called Scented Sys­tems Ltd.

He will keep two ve­hi­cles – a Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat Es­tate and a Hyundai Tus­can Jeep – and the fur­ni­ture in the home will be di­vided by mu­tual agree­ment. All other as­sets which may be de­fined as “mat­ri­mo­nial prop­erty” that is held in the sole name of Mr Roberts will stay with him.

This news­pa­per asked the Crown Of­fice if Ms Pa­trick wanted to com­ment, but noth­ing was pro­vided. Mr Roberts could not be reached.

Stephen Roberts’ fi­nances are cur­rently be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the Crown Of­fice

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