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In brief

Bankrupt respite

The Cornwall hotelier declared bankrupt last month over a rape case has had the bankruptcy order annulled.

Arthur Williams, co-owner of the 40-bedroom Green Lawns Hotel, Falmouth, was successfully sued in a civil court last year by former employee Linda Griffiths after she claimed he had raped her. The court ordered Mr Williams to pay £50,000 damages to Mrs Griffiths. Bankruptcy proceedings were brought after Williams failed to pay the damages.

Truro County Court has ruled that the order be annulled pending the outcome of Mr Williams’ petition to the House of Lords to get the rape verdict set aside.

Pubmaster sale

Pubmaster, the 1,700-strong pub division of the troubled Brent Walker Group, is likely to be sold to one of five bidders, the company revealed last week. A consortium, backed by NatWest Ventures and led by John Brackenbury, who resigned as chairman in the summer, is thought to be the front runner.

Hotel competition

Competition in London’s townhouse hotel market was stepped up last week as 52-bedroom property the Hempel began trading.

The hotel, set up by Lady Weinberg, better known as actress Anouska Hempel, is located in Craven Hill Gardens, Lancaster Gate. The general manager is Lawton Price.

Another townhouse opeator, Firmdale Hotels, claims its 50-bedroom Covent Garden Hotel, which opened in mid-April this year, is already achieving bedroom occupancies in excess of 90%.

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