Tuesday 11 December 2018

Drug dealer sues CAB 'for cutting short career of Cheltenham winner'

John Boylan leaves court during a case over the ownership of Labaik. Photo: Collins Courts
John Boylan leaves court during a case over the ownership of Labaik. Photo: Collins Courts

Tim Healy

A convicted drug dealer has accused the Criminal Assets Bureau of cutting short the career of his part-owned Cheltenham-winning horse.

The horse, Labaik, sustained an injury after it was raced following the freezing of its ownership by the CAB, it was claimed in the High Court.

John Boylan (32), aka John Power, of Forest Hill, Rathcoole, Co Dublin, who CAB says is involved in drug dealing in the Clondalkin area of Dublin, is contesting CAB's claim that he acquired the horse called Labaik from crime. Mr Boylan is 90pc owner of the horse and says it was not bought from the proceeds of crime.

Labaik won €125,000 at the 2017 Supreme Novices' Hurdle and at odds of 25/1, causing a shock in betting circles because of the horse's previous form.

It had won four of its previous nine races and refused to leave the stalls for three of them, the court heard.

After CAB obtained an interim court order allowing the bureau to hold its seized horse passport, it remained with one of the other two part owners, who are not involved in criminality.

Champion horse Labaik. Photo: Sportsfile
Champion horse Labaik. Photo: Sportsfile

However, Mr Boylan's counsel, John Fitzgerald, said the effect of an injury it sustained after it was run following the CAB seizure had ended its career.

Mr Boylan has now brought his own proceedings against CAB claiming losses arising out of the injury which he says was because the bureau allowed the horse to be run.

The court heard the grey had been expected to be sold for between €300,000 and €400,000, having been bought for around £26,000 (€29,290) in 2016 with Boylan a 90pc owner. CAB denies his claims and, in its own proceedings, wants the horse declared the proceeds of crime along with a 2013 Mercedes Benz, bought from the UK for £28,000 (€32,669).

CAB says Boylan is the beneficial owner of the car, while he has claimed it is owned by his girlfriend, Naomi Kinsella, against whom the proceedings are also brought. The case opened before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart but was adjourned so CAB officers involved in the case could be cross-examined by Boylan's counsel.

The horse was bought with money from a joint account of Boylan and Kinsella, the majority of the price being paid through a credit transfer by him.

An animal feed company, called Forest Hill Animal Feeds, was also set up which is registered in the name of a Boylan associate who is also involved in criminality, counsel said.

Earlier, Ben Ó Floinn BL, for CAB, reading from a CAB officer's affidavit, said Boylan/ Power has convictions for drug dealing.

Mr Fitzgerald, for Boylan, complained that CAB was saying his client was the owner of the horse in its own proceedings but denying it in the case taken by Mr Boylan.

His client was not disputing ownership but was saying the horse was not acquired through the proceeds of crime.

However, Mr Ó Floinn said cross-examination of the CAB officers could take place only if the Boylan side had challenged specific averments of the officers and this had not occurred. The judge adjourned the case to next week.

Irish Independent

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