Hurling star feared Christmas in prison
FORMER All-Ireland-winning Wexford hurler Paul Codd says he was coerced into giving undertakings to co-operate with the official in charge of his bankruptcy to avoid spending Christmas in Mountjoy Prison.
Last March, Mr Codd, of Askinfarney, Clonroche, Co Wexford, was adjudicated bankrupt by the High Court arising from his failure to satisfy a judgment secured against him in 2011 for €530,000.
He spent a weekend in Mountjoy before Christmas, after alleged non-compliance with the official assignee in charge of his bankruptcy.
Yesterday the matter came back before Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, who was told by lawyers for Friends First Finance that Mr Codd had failed to comply with undertakings given in December to return several items of machinery it leased to the now dissolved company, Paul Codd Ltd.
Mr Codd, representing himself, said he gave the undertakings, including one to return the machinery, and signed a statement of affairs with regard to his bankruptcy "under duress" because he wanted to go home to his children.
In an affidavit, Mr Codd also said that when he was arrested just before Christmas and brought to jail, around a dozen gardai had surrounded his house and broke down his front door with "a purpose-built battering ram".
Gardai arrested him while he was "barefoot" and "brought me to Enniscorthy garda station, where a doctor attended to my cuts and bruises, and then brought me to Mountjoy Prison, still barefoot throughout".
He has made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman about his arrest and detention, which he says were unlawful.
The judge warned Mr Codd he faced "serious consequences" if he did not abide by the undertakings over the machinery, which included tractors, a plough, forklifts and a car.
Mr Codd gave fresh undertakings that he would return the machinery and co-operate with the bankruptcy process. Mr Justice Hogan said the matter had previously been dealt with by the court. All that remained was whether Mr Codd was prepared to give sworn undertakings to return the machinery within two weeks and co-operate with the official assignee in bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.
The judge said he would otherwise deem Mr Codd to be in contempt of court. Following a sometimes heated exchange with the judge, Mr Codd gave sworn undertakings to deliver up the machinery in two weeks' time and to attend at Mr Lehane's offices.
The matter was adjourned to a date in February.
The €530,000 judgment which led to him being declared bankrupt arose out of a sale by David Deasey, a dairy farmer from Timoleague, Co Cork. He sold Mr Codd 46 acres of land at Askinfarney for about €800,000 and while a deposit of €40,000 was paid, Mr Codd had not completed the sale.