Sunday 23 April 2017

High Court freezes assets of Console founder, wife and their son

Paul Kelly, Console founder. Pic Collins Photos
Paul Kelly, Console founder. Pic Collins Photos
Former Console Chief Executive Paul Kelly's wife Patricia leaving the four Courts. Credit: Steve Humphreys
Former Console Chief Executive Paul Kelly's wife Patricia leaving the four Courts. Credit: Steve Humphreys

Shane Phelan, Legal Affairs Editor

The High Court has granted injunctions freezing the assets of Console founder Paul Kelly, his wife Patricia and their son Tim.

It was one of five orders sought by lawyers for the suicide bereavement charity at a hearing before Mr Justice Paul Gilligan.

The court was told by a solicitor representing Mr and Mrs Kelly that Paul Kelly had been admitted to a psychiatric institution today.

However, solicitor James MacGuill said Patricia Kelly was in court.

Counsel for Console secured mareva orders freezing the assets of Mr and Mrs Kelly. A temporary freezing order was also made freezing the assets of Tim Kelly, who, the court was told, runs Console’s operation in the UK.

Martin Hayden SC also secured orders requiring the three defendants to provide details of all bank accounts and details of companies they are involved in with links to Console. These would include trusts and foundations.

Former Console Chief Executive Paul Kelly's wife Patricia leaving the four Courts. Credit: Steve Humphreys
Former Console Chief Executive Paul Kelly's wife Patricia leaving the four Courts. Credit: Steve Humphreys
Former Console Chief Executive Paul Kelly's wife Patricia leaving the four Courts. Credit: Steve Humphreys

He also secured an order requiring Paul and Patricia Kelly to provide details of any asset transfers they had made since January 1, 2012.

A similar order against Tim Kelly may be pursued next week.

Log in details for a Paypal account operated by the charity must also be handed over.

Mr Justice Gilligan gave the Kellys until next Monday to hand over the information.

The court heard further details of credit card spending allegedly incurred by Mr and Mrs Kelly and their son.

This included €41,151 spent by Paul Kelly in 2015. Items covered included dry cleaning, dentist appointments, meals and travel.

Patricia Kelly ran up credit card bills of €35,298 in 2015. The card was used to withdraw cash from ATMs, pay the local property tax and motor repairs.

The court was told Tim Kelly’s credit card spending for 2015 came to €63,752.

This included spending on phones, travel, motor insurance, AirBnB and various restaurants.

Counsel for Console said Patricia Kelly had given an assurance last Saturday that all of the charity’s accounts and documents had been surrendered to the interim CEO, David Hall.

Mr Hayden said CCTV footage shown to Mr Hall at a storage unit in Naas, following a tip-off, clearly showed Mr and Mrs Kelly attending the premises last week.

When the unit was searched by Mr Hall with the aid of gardaí, he discovered 300 hanging folders for filing cabinets, 30 desk folders, 50 ring binders, a Dell laptop, 25 cheque books, a petty cash box, 40 keys, a briefcase and numerous Cds, DVDs and photographs.

Mr Hall has not yet had time to inspect all of the material, but believes it to be related to the workings of Console.

In an affidavit, Mr Hall accused Mr and Mrs Kelly of being involved in a tactical and considered web of deceit.

Patricia Kelly sat at the back of the court during the proceedings.

She made no comment as she left afterwards.

Earlier, Mr MacGuill said Paul Kelly was a patient at a psychiatric hospital. He said Mr Kelly had been discharged yesterday to put his affairs in order and was readmitted this morning.

He also said he would be seeking to vary the terms of the mareva injunction so that Mr and Mrs Kelly could get living expenses and pay their legal costs.

Meanwhile, the court was told that another defendant in the proceedings, Paul Kelly’s sister Joan McKenna, was denying any involvement in the charity.

Her name was listed in accounts as being a director of the charity.

Mr Hayden said he understood it was being suggested Ms McKenna’s signature had been forged.

An application by Ms McKenna is to be heard in a fortnight.

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