Sunday 22 April 2018

High Court judge orders arrest of former Wexford hurler Paul Codd

Former Wexford Hurling captain, Paul Codd
Former Wexford Hurling captain, Paul Codd
Paul Codd during his playing days

Aodhan O'Faolain

A JUDGE has ordered that former All-Ireland winning Wexford hurler Paul Codd be arrested and brought before the High Court for his on going refusal to cooperate with his bankruptcy.

Mr Justice Brian McGovern directed that a warrant for Mr Codd's arrest be issued after the court was informed he had not complied with undertakings, given last January, to meet with the court appointed official in charge of his bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.

Last December, Mr Codd, who did not attend court yesterday and is currently outside the jurisdiction, was briefly jailed for his alleged non-compliance with the bankruptcy process.

Two days before Christmas, he secured his release from Mountjoy Prison. He had been brought there on December 21 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, Mr Lehane, 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.

In January Mr Codd gave sworn undertakings, before the High Court, 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.

Today, Mr Lehane told the court that despite giving an undertaking to cooperate, Mr Codd had not attended at three pre-arranged meetings at his (Lehane's) office in Dublin.

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 Coddhas claimed he was pressurised into making that statement of affairs.

Mr Lehane said three meetings were arranged with Mr Codd on a number of different dates. However, they were all cancelled in a series of late night e-mails from Mr Codd.

By refusing to co-operate Mr Lehane said Mr Codd had breached his undertakings and "was in contempt of court".

Mr Lehane added he was seeking an order under the Bankruptcy Act that Mr Codd be arrested and brought before the 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 EURO 500,000 worth of farm machinery leased by Deutsche Leasing Ireland.

A man who said he represented Mr Codd, but was not a lawyer, asked to address the court.

He said Mr Codd was currently "out of the jurisdiction."  However, Mr Justice McGovern told the man he had no right to speak on Mr Codd's behalf.

In 2013, Mr Codd, of Askinfarney, Clonroche, Co Wexford, was adjudicated bankrupt by the High Court arising from his failure to satisfy a judgmentsecured against him in 2011 for EURO 530,000.

The application in March to have him 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.

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 Coddadjudicated bankrupt. Mr Codd's debts, combined with those of his company, are estimated to be €4.9 million.

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