Tuesday 19 March 2019

Hurling star Codd: I gave bankruptcy undertakings 'under duress'

Former All Ireland winning player 'wanted to get home to distraught kids'

Former Wexford Hurling captain, Paul Codd, leaving court today after a High Court hearing. Photo: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie
Former Wexford Hurling captain, Paul Codd, leaving court today after a High Court hearing. Photo: Paddy Cummins/PCPhoto.ie

FORMER All-Ireland Wexford hurler Paul Codd has said he was coerced into giving undertakings to the High Court to cooperate with his bankruptcy to avoid spending Christmas in Mountjoy Prison.

Two days before Christmas, Mr Codd secured his release from Mountjoy where he was lodged under an arrest warrant for his alleged non-compliance with the court-appointed official in charge of his bankruptcy, the official assignee.


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.


Today, when the matter came back before Mr Justice Gerard Hogan, the court 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 Mr Codd's now dissolved company, Paul Codd Ltd.


Mr Codd, representing himself, said he give the undertakings including one to return the machinery and signed a statement of affairs in regards to his bankruptcy "under duress" and because he wanted to go home to his distraught children.


He did not want to give an undertaking over the return of the machinery because he had not received any communication from Friend's First lawyers about the matter.


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, which is the subject of lease agreements Mr Codd had gone guarantor over, and to cooperate with the bankruptcy process.


Mr Justice Hogan told Mr Codd that "a degree of reality" had to be brought to the matter,


It had previously been dealt with by the court, he said. All that remained was whether Mr Codd was prepared to give sworn undertakings to  return the machinery within two weeks and cooperate with the official assignee in bankruptcy, Chris Lehane.


The Judge said he would deem Mr Codd to be in contempt of court, something which had very serious consequences, if he was not prepared to give those undertakings.


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 later this week.


Mr Codd is to be provided with the relevant paperwork in relation to the machinery by Friends First.


The matter was adjourned to a date in February.


In an affidavit, Mr Codd also said he 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."


His arrest took place "in front of my two young children". who he said are still traumatised at what transpired over Christmas."


He has made a complaint to the Garda Ombudsman about his arrest and detention which he says were unlawful.


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, Codd had not completed the sale.


Mr Deasey obtained a judgment of €530,326 against him in 2011 and when that was not satisfied, the farmer 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.


Aodhan O'Faolain

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