'The controversial founder of the defunct Kids Company charity yesterday begged to be spared the ‘stress’ of court proceedings.
Camila Batmanghelidjh asked a judge to help her avoid taking the blame for its financial meltdown.
Her solicitor told the High Court it would be a ‘blessing’ if she was let off, adding: ‘It would save time, cost and stress for her.’
Kids Company, which helped troubled children in south London, was given £42million of public money, including £3million sanctioned by David Cameron just days before its collapse in 2015.
But an inquiry found an ‘extraordinary catalogue of failures’ at the charity and now the Insolvency Service is trying to impose a six-year ban on Batmanghelidjh being a company director.
The charity’s former chairman Alan Yentob, an ex-BBC executive, and six others also face three-year bans.
At a preliminary court hearing yesterday, Batmanghelidjh argued she should escape blame because although she was ‘heavily involved’ in the charity, she was ‘not involved in the governance’.
Her solicitor, James Nicholls, complained that ‘stones are being thrown at her by the official receiver’, who has amassed 56 lever arch files of evidence, which he described as ‘a plethora of noise’.
Although Batmanghelidjh was not a director at the time the charity collapsed, she was described at a previous inquiry as the ‘unaccountable and dominant’ chief executive who regarded Kids Company as ‘her personal fiefdom’.
The Insolvency Service is arguing that she was a ‘de facto director’, and should be banned.
Her solicitor asked for a separate hearing to decide whether she could be excused from the case.
But Gareth Tilley, for the official receiver, said it would be better if all eight defendants faced trial at the same time so that the court could get ‘the full picture’.
He said it was not yet known whether Batmanghelidjh and the board directors might blame each other for the collapse, to which Deputy Insolvency and Companies Court Judge Middleton replied: ‘It does have the “cut-throat” feel about it doesn’t it?'
Read more: Kids Company founder urges judge to spare her the 'stress' of a court case over the charity's financial meltdown after taking £42 million of public money
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