COUNTY NEWS: Will-writing firm left behind Â£150k debt as it folded
A Sussex will-writing firm had a debt of more than Â£150,000 when it went into liquidation.
Companies House documents show Thy Will Be Done Limited owed money to a host of organisations when it was liquidated under director Deborah Scully.
Former customers told the Herald & Gazette of poor experiences with her firm before it was closed in July.
Some also spoke of their dissatisfaction following visits from the firm’s sales manager Paul Blackmoore, now director of a business with a near-identical name.
Thy Will Be Done (Spain) was incorporated two months before Thy Will Be Done Limited ceased trading, Companies House documents confirm.
The new company is run by Mr Blackmoore from the same high street store, in Goring Road, Worthing, under the same branding, while Ms Scully works as a part-time administrator.
Despite similarities, Mr Blackmoore insisted the two were entirely separate.
He said: “It is inevitable there are going to be some similarities and crossovers. We work in the same industry and are dealing with the same issues but we are wholly separate operations.”
The Herald & Gazette pointed out last week that Mr Blackmoore’s firm’s Facebook page still had reference to an award won by Ms Scully’s firm in 2015 as its profile picture.
It was also still possible this week to download a Thy Will Be Done money-off voucher, signed by ‘CEO’ Paul Blackmoore, through a September, 2016, Facebook post.
Mr Blackmoore said he was not internet savvy. The profile picture was removed when brought to his attention and he believed his title on the voucher was a misprint and to his knowledge was removed from circulation.
He reiterated he was only ever employed as a sales manager under Ms Scully.
Thy Will Be Done Limited’s debts, according to its statement of affairs papers, included £21,117 owed to HMRC and £20,840 to Barclays bank, alongside more than £110,000 to others including a church in Tunbridge Wells.
Worthing Borough Council confirmed it was owed £642 in business rates. A spokesman said it was ‘in the hands of the administrator’ when it came to reclaiming the funds.
West Sussex County Council could not say why the document said its highways team was owed £1,549.
Mr Blackmoore said he was entitled to buy the rights to the Thy Will Be Done name, its website and database as he did for £7,500.
He said: “Many staff avoided the misery of being jobless as a result and are extremely thankful for this fact.
“No client who paid Thy Will Be Done any money was not provided with the products and services they bought because of the liquidation. I made it my mission to ensure that everyone got what they paid for at my own expense.
“There could have been hundreds of people out of pocket and disgruntled had I not made this decision.”
“The debts are not my debts, or debts of my company or debts that I had anything whatsoever to do with or responsibility for.”