Former Wexford hurler jailed for failing to co-operate with bankruptcy process

Monday 23 December 2013 23.33
Paul Codd said he 'would co-operate to the best of my ability'
Paul Codd said he 'would co-operate to the best of my ability'

Former All-Ireland Wexford hurler Paul Codd was allowed to return to his family today after spending a weekend in Mountjoy Prison.

Mr Codd, a former Wexford captain, was taken to jail from his home on Saturday last after he was arrested by gardaí for failing to co-operate about his affairs with official bankruptcy assignee Chris Lehane.

After telling Mr Justice Kevin Cross in the High Court that he would make a statement to Mr Lehane, and having made a sworn affidavit in the courtroom, the judge told him he could go home.

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.

The court was told that Mr Codd had promised to fully co-operate in the future.

The matter was adjourned until 20 January.

TD Mick Wallace attended court and sat beside Mr Codd before and during the hearing.

Although he spoke with Mr Codd in court he played no part in the proceedings.

Garda Sergeant Tom Murphy, of Clonroche Garda Station, told the court he had called to Mr Codd's home on Saturday and following a brief conversation with him at his front door arrested him and took him to Mountjoy Prison.

Mr Lehane, who is the court-appointed official whose role is to assist bankrupts in their obligations to their creditors, said Mr Codd had been arrested on foot of a warrant issued on 14 October last for failing to co-operate with him regarding his assets and liabilities.

He told Judge Cross he had spoken to Mr Codd in court and Mr Codd had assured him he would now fully co-operate with him.

He asked the judge to briefly adjourn the matter by which time he hoped to have a statement of Mr Codd's affairs completed.

Barrister Conal Ellis, counsel for Friends First Finance, said Mr Codd had gone guarantor for ten items of plant and machinery leased by the bank.

Despite a court order those assets had not been returned to the bank and he was anxious to proceed with recovery of them.

When Judge Cross told Mr Codd the motion before the court was an application to put him in prison for contempt of court orders directing him to engage with the official in charge of his bankruptcy, Mr Codd said he was now prepared to co-operate with Mr Lehane "to the best of my ability."

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 Mr Codd in 2011 and when that was not satisfied Mr Deasey petitioned the court to have Mr Codd adjudicated bankrupt. 

Mr Codd's debts, combined with those of his now dissolved company, Paul Codd Ltd, are estimated to be €4.9 million.