Sunday 23 October 2016

Jerry Beades loses appeal over guarantee for €255k loan he claims he was duped into signing

Tim Healy

Published 03/02/2016 | 17:30

Businessman Jerry Beades. Photo: Collins
Businessman Jerry Beades. Photo: Collins

BUSINESSMAN Jerry Beades, who claimed he was duped into signing a guarantee for a €255,000 loan, has lost an appeal over a summary judgment order against him for the money plus interest.

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The Court of Appeal found Mr Beades could not credibly argue he was duped or that he did not give the guarantee willingly in the full knowledge of the legal implications of doing so.

It ordered the couple who loaned the money, Bernard and Nancy McDonnell, Leopardstown Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin, were entitled to judgment for €291,000.

The original €255,000 (IR£200,000) loan was provided by the McDonnells between 1998 and 1999, in three amounts, for a property development company, Greencastle Investments.

Its directors were Mr Beades and his business partner Niall Ring, who was also a son-in-law of the McDonnells. 

The money was for a mixed commercial/residential development at Greencastle Parade, Coolock, Dublin.

Mr Beades and Mr Ring both entered into guarantees to repay the loans on demand within a year with interest.

When they were not repaid, the McDonnells obtained a High Court summary judgment order in March 2011 against Mr Beades who had opposed the application and argued it should go to a full hearing.

Mr Beades appealed that order and arguing the High Court should have allowed it go to full hearing because there was a genuine dispute surrounding complex transactions.

He claimed neither he nor Greencastle Investments derived any benefit from the loans.

He said no evidence had been produced to verify any efforts were made by the McDonnells to recover the money from their son-in-law since the judgment.

Mr Beades also claimed Mr Ring had misappropriated Greencastle Investment funds to buy a family home in Clontarf, Dublin.  As a result, he said, the company finances were fatally undermined and the money had to be borrowed from the McDonnells.

Mr Beades, whose address is Mount Prospect Avenue, Clontarf,  also claimed his European Convention right to access to a court and fair trial had been breached by the summary judgment.

Giving the three-judge Court of Appeal's decision dismissing the appeal, Mr Justice Alan Mahon said Mr Beades had claimed he was duped "into signing the guarantee while present in the solicitor's office on other business".

However, the judge said, no such contention was made in Mr Beades original opposition to summary judgment in the High Court.  

What he had claimed was that Mr Ring had asked him to sign the guarantee and that his father-in-law was going to ask him (Ring) to repay the money.  He said Mr Ring assured him the money was in Greencastle's bank account and would be used to repay at a later date.

Mr Justice Mahon said the agreement to provide a personal guarantee undoubtedly informed Mr Beades' decision to later sign the document and assume liability for the loans.

While he complained about having been duped, and while he may have agreed to sign out of "misplaced loyalty" to Mr Ring, it was nevertheless a fact that he signed in the full knowledge of its legal implications.

"He was at the time an experienced businessman well used to dealing with substantial financial matters."

The judge did not believe he had established a credible or arguable defence.   The McDonnells were entitled to summary judgment.

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