Sunday, 18 May 2014
"Pitman's Pounded Again By Tell-Lie-Vision"
Leah Ferguson reports.
Former Jersey deputies Trevor and Shona Pitman owe more than £600,000, according to a list of claims against them made public by the Viscount's Department.
The Pitmans were declared bankrupt in January following a long-running court case and a series of appeals over a satirical cartoon. The cartoon was commissioned by Broadlands Estate Agents for their 2008 Christmas advertisement and published by the JEP.
The Pitmans claimed that the cartoon defamed them and portrayed them as greedy money-grabbers who were only in politics for the financial gain. They lost the case and have since made several appeals, including to the UK Privy Council, who recently threw out their appeal.
Since the Pitmans' bankruptcy claim, they have been ordered to pay back some of the lawyers' fees incurred by Broadlands and the JEP. To do that, they will have to sell their home, which the Viscount's Department has instructed to be offered up to the market for sale in the coming weeks.
The Pitmans' debts amount to more than £600,000. Due to the enforced sale of the house, they owe mortgage lender Lloyds Bank £350,000. Following the court order to pay the defendants the costs of the court case, they owe Broadlands £110,000, and the JEP £100,000. They have incurred debts to their defence lawyers Viberts of £30,000.
Smaller debts have also been revealed by the Viscount's Department. The Pitmans owe the Treasury more than £2,000 in income tax. There is also a claim against Trevor Pitman by Jersey Electricity for £200. And a claim against Shona Pitman by the Jersey Chamber of Commerce for £25.
It is the first time that the Viscount's Department has had to deal with a bankruptcy case involving politicians. The department says it has released the information because it is 'in the public interest'.
Trevor Pitman is in dispute with the Viscount's Department, claiming that they are violating his privacy by publishing the list of claims to the media.