| 5.2°C Dublin

I can't read so I didn't understand €6m loan deal, claims Mansfield Jr

CONVICTED drink-driver Jim Mansfield Jr claims he did not understand the details of a multi-million euro development loan provided to him by AIB.

Mr Mansfield Jr is the director of 23 companies, yet his barrister claimed in the Commercial Court that he had never read a book or a newspaper.

The son of millionaire businessman and Citywest tycoon Jim Mansfield is one of a number of developers being sued by AIB for a €6.28m development loan.

Mr Justice Kelly said it was extraordinary that Mr Mansfield, whose companies are involved in a wide range of business activities, could not understand the term "joint and severally liable".

However, an educational psychologist's report put before the court stated the businessman has average intelligence but has the reading ability of a seven-year-old.

Counsel said Mr Mansfield had literacy difficulties due to dyslexia and because he left school at a young age, and was unsure of the nature of the documentation he was signing in relation to the purported partnership.

But counsel for AIB said Mr Mansfield never informed the bank of any such difficulties and he had not made out a case that he was unsure of the nature of any documentation he had signed.

The Commercial Court will make a decision today on whether Mr Mansfield and three other businessmen should have summary judgment entered against them over the €6.2m loaned for development lands in Duleek, Meath.

The summary judgment application was brought by AIB against a partnership comprising Mr Mansfield Jr, Palmerstown House, Johnstown, Kildare; Brian Higgins Allensgrove, Celbridge Road, Leixlip, Kildare; Glen O'Callaghan, Drapier Road, Dublin; and Seamus Kavanagh Kyle, Killea, Templemore, Tipperary.

All four oppose AIB's application, which arises out of loans advanced in 2003 for the purchase of the Meath site.

Mr Mansfield Jr (42) had an on-off relationship with former model Katy French in the months before her death from a cocaine overdose.

He was convicted of drink- driving last year but his father, millionaire businessman Jim Mansfield, said he would be 100pc confident in handing over his empire to him or any of his other two sons, Tony and PJ.

"Jimmy would be like myself, drink wouldn't be something that would interest him a lot," he said at the time.

"But you know he had wine and he went out and he was over the limit and of course he got done.

"He is appealing the case, whether he is right or wrong I don't know."