Sunday 25 February 2018

All-Ireland winning hurler Paul Codd jailed for refusing to cooperate with bankruptcy

Former Wexford Hurling captain Paul Codd
Former Wexford Hurling captain Paul Codd

Aodhan O'Faolain

A High Court Judge has jailed All-Ireland winning Wexford hurler Paul Codd for his refusal to cooperate with his bankruptcy.

This morning at the High Court, Ms Justice Caroline Costello committed Mr Codd to prison after he refused to answer questions about his assets put to him by  the court appointed official in charge of his bankruptcy, the official assignee Mr Chris Lehane.

The Judge said the refusal amount to a contempt of court.

Mr Codd was arrested this morning in Co Wexford and brought before the Court by members of the Gardai on foot of a warrant issued for his attachment in March 2014.

The court issued the warrant after the it was informed the Wexford hurler had not complied with undertakings, given in January 2014, to meet with the court appointed official in charge of his bankruptcy Mr Chris Lehane.

The warrant was not executed until today as Mr Codd was believed to be living outside of the jurisdiction.

Today at the High Court Mr Codd was committed to Mountjoy Prison till Monday July 27th next after he failed to answer questions concerning his assets put to him by Mr Lehane. He was warned by the Judge that consequences would flow if he did not answer the questions.

Mr Codd who wanted the matter adjourned to he could obtain representation said he was not consenting to being sent to prison.

However following repeated requests to answer questions put to him the Judge said Mr Codd was not willing to co-operate and committed him to prison to July 27th, or until a time that he was willing to purge his contempt.

In December 2014 Mr Codd was briefly jailed for his alleged non-compliance with the bankruptcy process. Two days before Christmas Mr Codd secured his release from Mountjoy Prison. He was brought there on December 21st last following his arrest by Gardai on foot of a warrant, issued in October 2013, for his alleged non-compliance.

He was released after providing a statement of affairs to the official assignee and promised to co-operate. He subsequently claimed he was coerced into giving undertakings to the court to cooperate with his bankruptcy in a bid to avoid spending Christmas in prison.

The following January Mr Codd gave sworn undertakings to co-operate with Mr Lehane and also to return several items of machinery which had been leased to Mr Codd's now dissolved company Paul Codd Ltd.

Despite giving an undertaking to cooperate Mr Codd failed to co-operate. Mr Lehane said the meetings were set up so the former hurler could provide evidence to corroborate claims made in his statement of affairs.

Mr Codd has claimed he was pressurised into making that statement of affairs.

By refusing to co-operate Mr Lehane argued Mr Codd had breached his undertakings and "was in contempt of court".  The court also heard Mr Codd had also failed to comply with an undertaking to return machinery leased by Friends First Finance, or comply with orders to return €460,000 worth of farm machinery leased by Deutsche Leasing Ireland.

In March 2013 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.

His bankruptcy 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.

Mr Deasey obtained a judgment of €530,326 against Codd in 2011 and when that was not satisfied  Mr Deasey petitioned the court to have Codd adjudicated bankrupt. Mr Codd’s debts, combined with those of his company, are estimated to be €4.9 million.

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