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On the trail of Mike Smallman
After a month or so of silence from Mike Smallman, STUART ARNOLD caught up with him following a visit to his North Yorkshire home.
For a man who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur and who once was at the helm of what he claimed was the largest distance learning college of its kind in Europe, Mike Smallman can’t be said to be living in luxury.
The Northern Echo visited his home address, a nondescript-looking property on a quiet street in Richmond in an attempt to speak to him.
A rusty looking 14-year-old Skoda estate car stood on the drive, while blinds covered the front windows of the house.
A woman, who confirmed she was Mr Smallman’s partner, said he wasn’t at home and passed on a telephone number to call him.
Neighbours said they knew who Mr Smallman was having "seen him in the paper".
One said: "You see him going out in his car and he comes and goes at fairly regular hours, but I've never spoken to him."
Later, when Mr Smallman answered the phone to this reporter he launched into an expletive-laden rant condemning the “hysteria” surrounding him and allegations that he was ripping people off as “rubbish”.
Asked why his mobile phone number had been recently changed, he said: “I had it turned off because I was getting death threats and I have been to the police today.
"Three thugs turned up at my home, intimidated my partner, followed me and attempted to run me off the road.
“I am at my wits end and have had enough of the harassment I have received. I have done nothing wrong. Everybody is on the bandwagon, but nothing has changed.”
Mr Smallman said he could be “turfed out” of his home in three weeks time because he could no longer afford the rent, but nonetheless was doing his best to finalise clothing orders placed with one of his latest ventures, APM Clothing Development.
He said: “I can give you the suppliers who have ballsed-up my jobs for whatever reason – go after them. We have done mountains of work, it is a business that has had an awful lot of bad luck.
“Mike Smallman stands firm doing his best. You can tell I’m irate.”
No doubt those who have had recent dealings with Mr Smallman and have lost money as a result are equally irate since it seems unlikely they will get it back.
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