Heart attack risk delays sentencing of accountant facing jail

Peter Lashmar
Peter Lashmar will return to court on 17th January 2020 for sentencing

A LYMINGTON accountant who faces going to jail had his sentencing adjourned so he can undergo a heart operation.


Peter Lashmar (69), of West Way, had been due to learn his fate at Bournemouth Crown Court in relation to flouting government orders that banned him from being involved in the running of any company.

However, defence barrister Berenice Mulvanny successfully appealed to delay sentencing, pointing out doctors had signed a letter stressing Lashmar needed a defibrillator surgically implanted in his heart.

“He is at a high risk of a heart attack,” she said, adding he faced a four-week wait before doctors could perform the surgery.

Judge Stephen Climie said he was aware of such an operation and the need to do it swiftly. He also was mindful of the stresses the prison system would be put under were he to send Lashmar to prison before the operation was completed.

It was important the “public cost” was not impacted by sending someone to prison who needed essential surgery, and Lashmar was in a “sound condition” when his punishment was determined, Judge Climie added.

Insisting he had not pre-judged the sentence, Judge Climie noted the nature of the offences committed often resulted in prison.

“Breaches of court orders – and regulatory orders – will often, not always, and I accept not always, but they will often result in an immediate custody sentence,” the judge said.

Ms Mulvanny said she wanted to make it clear that while she accepted prison was a “real possibility” for her client she would be seeking to argue that any jail term should be suspended.

However, she did add: “I’m not saying that will be an easy job.”

Agreeing to delay sentencing, Judge Climie said: “I have to have regard in these circumstances to the nature of the surgery, the logistical issues and public cost as to the custodial sentence imposed so will adjourn for a three-month time period.”

Reserving the sentencing to himself, Judge Climie granted Lashmar unconditional bail to reappear on 22nd May.

The prosecution against Lashmar is being brought by the Insolvency Service (IS), which disqualified him in 2015 from directing or taking any part in the management of a company for seven years.

That action was taken after the IS went to Southampton County Court because Lashmar (pictured) failed to ensure his accountancy firm kept proper records and registered for VAT.

But after subsequent reports that Lashmar was breaching the order, the IS investigated and hit him with 11 more criminal charges – six of which Lashmar has admitted.

Of those, five relate to him breaching the disqualification in relation to working at Lentune Tax Accountants between 23rd March 2015 and 22nd March 2016, Lashmar Personal Tax LLP, Lashmar Tax Accountants and Incorporate Companies Secretaries from 23rd March 2015 to 24th October 2018, and IC Nominee 66 between 23rd March 2015 and 28th April 2017.

He also admitted a charge of recklessly delivering a false, misleading or deceptive document to the registrar stating Wendy Page was the director of Lashmar Tax Accountants.

Lashmar was declared bankrupt in May last year.