TENS of thousands of pounds were stolen from a Risby-based business by the owner’s son, a court heard this week.
Profits at GW Gowing and Sons Ltd, trading as Gowing Auto Salvage, plunged after Andrew Gowing, 42, of School Road, Pentlow, was left in charge by his father who had emigrated to New Zealand in 2004, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Giving evidence via a video link from his Auckland home, John Gowing, who spent 45 years building up the business, said he blamed his son who did not want to see the business sold off.
Mr Gowing said he discovered profits had fallen from £636,000 to £280,000 during the period his son was in charge.
A £4 million deal to sell off the business as a going concern fell through just days before completion and it emerged profits, which had been running at £10,000 a month, had fallen to just £600, he said.
Solicitor Robert Dellow, who had acted for John Gowing for 17 years, told the court he was aware the plan had been to sell the business for up to £4.5 million, although that did not happen.
Prosecuting, Andrew Shaw said that Andrew Gowing was caught out when his father unexpectedly returned to the UK.
He retained cash handed over by customers and on one occasion failed to pay £19,600 into the company’s bank account, said Mr Shaw.
Andrew Gowing has pleaded not guilty to the theft of £19,617 in cash, five offences of stealing credit balances amounting in total to more than £19,000 and stealing three cars including a Porsche and a quad bike.
The trial continues.