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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cattle breeder to pursue £68k damages from bankrupt AI firm

A PEDIGREE cattle breeder will continue his fight for almost £68,000 in damages after the Carlisle boss of the business he sued was declared bankrupt – and the firm’s assets transferred to a new company.

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Mix-up: Lindsays’ AI was ordered to pay £67,945 last month in damages after it bungled the labelling on semen from award-winning bull, Deveron Limited Edition, pictured

Hamish Sclater said he would continue his efforts to get the cash from Carlisle-based Lindsays AI, even though his prospects appeared to be diminishing.

Lindsays’ AI was last month ordered to pay Mr Sclater and his wife Margaret £67,945 in damages after it bungled the labelling on 1,158 straws of semen extracted from an award-winning bull from their Deveronside Aberdeen-Angus herd that subsequently died.

Lindsays, a business partnership, failed to pay over the cash to the Sclaters, of Denhead Farm, Dunlugas, Turriff, by July 21, the date ordered by Carlisle County Court.

Its boss, Rodger P Lindsay, and an Alexander Kerr Lindsay, both of Halltown Farm, Rockcliffe, were declared bankrupt in proceedings at Carlisle County Court by District Judge Park on Thursday.

Rodger Lindsay said the assets of Lindsays’ AI had also been transferred to Metal Bridge Ltd, a company in which a Euan McIntyre Lindsay, 56, and James Rodger Kerr Bell Lindsay, 66, both also of Halltown Farm, are listed as directors.

Metal Bridge was formed, according to documents from Companies House, on June 24 – three weeks before the court issued its verdict against Lindsays’ AI. Rodger Lindsay said the transfer was “legal and above board” and had been done to protect the semen it held on behalf of other customers of the business.

He blamed the bankruptcy on the verdict, adding: “There was no way the business could afford to pay it (the damages). The damages were punitive and totally, totally unjust. There was no way he (Mr Sclater) would have ever sold semen for that money or increased the value of his herd (as the judgment ruled), whatever the expert witness said.

“We tried throughout to be reasonable and made an offer the business could afford, but he wanted to proceed.”

Mr Lindsay said the verdict had forced the bankruptcy.

Mr Sclater expressed bitter disappointment at the situation, saying he remained hugely out of pocket. He said he found it strange that Mr Lindsay was disputing the assertion of expert witness David Leggat, who provided the valuation on which the court’s assessment of damages was based.

Mr Sclater added: “The expert witness was proposed by Lindsays and we agreed him.” Mr Sclater said the warning signs over the value of the semen from the bull Deveronside Limited Edition had long been there as his only son sold for £20,000. He said the pursuit of the cash would continue, adding: “They are not off the hook.”

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