Wednesday 21 March 2018

There was 'ample' evidence to jail Sean Quinn Jnr -- judges

Sean Quinn Jr and his wife Karen Woods. Photo: Collins
Sean Quinn Jr and his wife Karen Woods. Photo: Collins

Tim Healy

IT was right to jail Sean Quinn Jnr for three months because of the "outrageous" contempt of court orders he committed, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Four out of five Supreme Court judges said there was "ample" evidence to justify an earlier High Court finding "beyond reasonable doubt" that Sean Quinn Jnr was involved in a $500,000 (€385,000) payment to a Ukrainian businesswoman.

This payment to Larissa Puga was in contempt of court orders restraining stripping of assets form the Quinn's International Property Group (IPG).


The reasons handed down by the majority court yesterday comes a week ahead of a High Court hearing which will decide if Sean Quinn Snr will face a jail sentence for several breaches of court orders not to interfere with the family's €500m-strong IPG.

Mr Quinn Snr has now decided to co-operate with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) -- formerly Anglo Irish Bank -- and will find out next Thursday if he has done enough to purge his contempt.

The Supreme Court said that High Court Judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne was entitled to jail Sean Quinn Jnr for three months concerning that transaction.

Dissenting, Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman said there was no direct evidence to support the finding of contempt against Quinn Jnr and "no legally recognisable basis" for granting a request by IBRC to jail him so as to put pressure on his father to reverse asset-stripping measures.

The proceedings in the High Court leading to Quinn Jnr being jailed were in the nature of "a summary criminal trial conducted by a judge sitting alone", he said.

The High Court failed to focus on the specific case made against Quinn Jnr, as opposed to his father and cousin and was not entitled, in the absence of direct evidence of the single charge against him, to lock him up on foot of evidence of a general nature he was "up to no good".

Next week, Ms Justice Dunne is due to review whether Mr Quinn, his father and cousin Peter Darragh Quinn have made adequate efforts to purge their contempt. Sean Quinn Jnr was freed from Mountjoy Prison training unit last Friday.

Irish Independent

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