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Scots murder case boss banned from directing companies over missing £1million

A businessman who had his conviction for murdering a mother of four overturned has been banned from directing companies over missing accounts valued at £1million.

John Jenkins was found guilty of killing Jeannie Smith outside her home in 2009 – but his 20-year minimum sentence was slashed after the conviction was quashed on appeal.

Now the 41-year-old has been banned from acting as a director by UK Government agency the Insolvency Service.

They say he deprived the public purse of over £130,000 in unpaid tax after failing to hand over accounts for his collapsed wholesales firm – which the Sunday Mail has learned was taken over from a convicted drug dealer.

Jenkins is disqualified from running companies for seven years.

Ex-director Donald Birrell.

He maintained his innocence after being convicted of murdering Jeanie, 41, following a three-week trial at the High Court in Glasgow in 2010.

She died after she left her house in Airdrie to look for her son.

The court heard Jeanie was followed into her garden by three people, one of whom lunged forward and appeared to punch her, before she collapsed telling her husband: “I have been stabbed.”

She died in hospital later that day.

Almost a year after Jenkins’ conviction, appeal judges ruled there were “severe question marks” over the reliability of a witness who identified him as the culprit in court.

He was left serving an eight-year sentence for mobbing and rioting after the murder charge was overturned.

Jenkins became the director of Airdrie-based Kaya Prestige in 2016. Companies House records show he took over the role from Donald Birrell, who was jailed for 10 years for money laundering and fraud in 2008 after a court heard he bought himself a £48,000 Porsche from an open jail while running a drug dealing operation.

His prison sentence was reduced to five-and-a-half years on appeal in 2009.

Birrell, of Glasgow, had been serving a six-year sentence for dealing at Noranside open prison, near Forfar, but continued to run his empire.

The Porsche 911 Turbo, which he bought from a dealer in Edinburgh, was sold and the proceeds seized under a court order.

Birrell became the first person in Scotland to have his finances scrutinised while serving a prison sentence under a financial reporting order.

He was ordered to detail all spending over £500 and explain all income over a seven-and-a-half year period.

Birrell was listed as director of newly-incorporated Kaya Prestige in 2015 but signed over the role to Jenkins a year later. The firm went into liquidation last year after declaring its last set of accounts in 2017.

The Insolvency Service said accounts from this time showed a closing balance of just over £1million but Jenkins had since “failed to maintain, preserve and deliver up the company books” and pay HMRC cash due.

It said it had therefore been unable to determine why the company failed and how it disposed of fixed assets of almost £398,000, current assets of almost £887,000 and cash in the bank of more than £500,000.

An Insolvency Service spokesman said: “John Jenkins failed to keep adequate company records and could not explain how assets listed in the last set of company accounts had been disposed of. As a result, the public purse has been left out of pocket by over £130,000 through unpaid corporation tax and VAT.

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“He has now been banned from the business environment for a considerable period of time.”

We tried to contact Jenkins but he could not be reached.

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