13 December 2017


The former directors of Britain’s one-time largest sheet fed print company are to go on trial next year over charges relating to the non-payment of tax.

Southwalk Crown Court in London heard pleas from John and Stephen Knight, Paul Murphy and Philip Sach – who used to be directors of the Anton Group company, along with Brian Thomas, who did not submit a plea as he had just taken on new legal counsel and needed more time to catch up on the case details. His plea is on December 18th this year. The judge said the case involved much material and gave this as the reason for choosing the trial date and plea hearing for Thomas.

This news is being covered closely by the trade media due to its potential future impact on other firms within the UK print industry. Indeed, Print Week reporter Rhys Handley sat in on the case and brought his own take on the proceedings.

Some of the charges relate to one of Cheating the Public Revenue over the sale of waste paper and aluminium from the print works between 2004 and 2012. John Knight and Stephen Knight pleaded guilty to this. However along with Brian Thomas they pleaded not guilty to a charge of failing to declare income.

On a separate count the two Knights, Thomas and Paul Murphy faced charges over concealment of business loans for the directors of the Anton Group, to which the Knights and Murphy said they were not guilty. On a third count, the four faced a charge of failing to declare payments to the directors and employees of the print company. Here the Knights pleaded guilty but Murphy pleaded not guilty.