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Rescue boss cuts ties with group he founded 50 years ago
3:55pm Saturday 23rd February 2013 in News
A RESCUE boss has severed all ties with the lifeboat organisation he ran for 50 years.
It follows a High Court case involving Philip Pearce-Smith, who founded the Lepe-based League of Venturers in 1961 and was its chief executive until 2011.
He later fell out with his successor, Martin Bennett, after claiming the Venturers owed him £17,000 he had loaned the charity over the years.
The trustees launched legal action after Mr Pearce-Smith terminated the appointment of Mr Bennett, along with fellow directors Paul Carter and Richard Watkins, by changing some of the details on the Companies House website.
Mr Pearce-Smith then reinstated himself, his son Robin and other associates as directors after criticising the way the organisation was being run.
The long-running legal wrangle was aired at a hearing before Mr Justice McCahill at the High Court sitting in Bristol.
The judge said the alterations to the Companies House records were invalid and ruled that the Venturers should either ratify or replace Mr Bennett, Mr Carter and Mr Watkins.
Speaking after the case Mr Pearce-Smith, 79, of Long Lane, Holbury, said there had been no need to take legal action.
Last August, he said, he sent Mr Bennett the authentication codes required to log on to the Companies House website and amend the records.
Mr Pearce-Smith originally stepped down as chief executive of the Venturers after announcing he had Alzheimer’s disease.
However, he later claimed that the diagnosis had turned out to be incorrect.
As reported in the Daily Echo, he is now running the Young Explorers’ Foundation, a new flood and snow rescue service.