?Dennis Lomas, the former finance director of Independent Insurance, continued his defence under cross examination this week.

Lomas, together with former managing director Michael Bright and deputy managing director Philip Condon, denies charges of conspiracy to defraud surrounding the spectacular collapse of Independent in 2001.

Under cross examination, he repeatedly denied withholding information from the company's actuaries.

He admitted that he had been scared of his former boss Bright and that this may have on occasion prevented him communicating certain information to him.

He said: “He was not a personal friend. His character generally was not to my liking but I did my best to get on with him.”

But he added on Tuesday that he would have been more scared to withhold information from the actuaries.

Lomas, whose family lost more than £2.2m in shares when the insurance company collapsed, told of how he had taken a job as a courier to make ends meet.

The court also heard that he had suffered from depression.

The case continues