'Wholly unreliable' Rangers owner Craig Whyte loses roofing court case
- 10 February 2012
- From the section Glasgow & West Scotland
Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been told to pay a disputed bill of £86,127 to a roofing firm after a sheriff described his evidence as "wholly unreliable".
One Stop Roofing Supplies claimed Mr Whyte's company Tixway UK had breached an agreement to pay for goods bought by another company, Snowcast UK.
Mr Whyte, 40, disputed this and said he was a creditor of Snowcast.
In a written ruling, Sheriff Nigel Ross stated: "I reject the evidence of Mr Whyte as wholly unreliable."
The case centred on the business relationship between Mr Whyte, Chris Keating, who owned Snowcast UK before it folded, and One Stop Roofing Supplies, which is run by Robert Jenkins.
During evidence in December, Mr Whyte told the court he was introduced to Mr Jenkins in April 2008 through friend and businessman Mr Keating.
The court was told Mr Whyte helped Mr Keating's own business by lending money when it was required.
It was said that Mr Keating regularly bought supplies from the roofing firm.
Mr Whyte told the court the only orders made by him, and that he was invoiced for by One Stop Roofing, were for the repairs he was carrying out at Castle Grant in Grantown on Spey.
He said he did not agree for invoices for Mr Keating's business to be sent to him or paid by him.
The court also heard that Mr Whyte became the director of Tixway after serving a seven-year disqualification from being a company director.
Asked why he was banned, Mr Whyte said he could not remember as it was some time ago. He also said he did not want to say in open court and get it wrong.
In his ruling on the case, Sheriff Ross stated: "I accept the evidence led by the pursuer (One Stop Roofing) as credible and reliable, and supported by the available documentation.
"I reject the evidence of Mr Whyte as wholly unreliable.
"It is not possible to ascertain whether he is not telling the truth or is simply unable to recollect the true position, and has convinced himself that this arrangement is something that he would not have entered into.
"Either way, his evidence is contradicted by virtually every other piece of evidence."
Sheriff Ross found that Mr Whyte's firm Tixway had "offered its own credit rating to allow cover for the supply of large volumes of materials to Snowcast".
He said this was "subject to a high degree of control by the defender over Snowcast and an understanding between the defender (Tixway) and Snowcast that Snowcast would make payment for those materials".
Sheriff Ross concluded: "As a matter of legal liability, however, the defender remains the principal obligant.
"There is no dispute as to the sum outstanding, nor that it was properly incurred, and I accept the total brought out by the pursuer's figures."
A hearing will be fixed for a later date for both parties to discuss expenses arising from the case.