Court rules money must be paid back to Bank of Ireland
Category: Northern Ireland
Published: 4th May 2012 15:41:35
The Bank of Ireland has won a High Court ruling in its bid to recover a £1.5m loan given to three men for an east Belfast property development venture.
Summary judgment was secured was secured against John Crawford, Geoffrey Wilson and Joseph Donaldson.
The men took out a joint loan just months before Northern Ireland's property market crashed in 2007.
The money was borrowed to acquire land at Parkgate Avenue for £1.75m.
Mr Wilson, who runs a Dromore-based architectural salvage business, and Mr Donaldson, owner of Environmental Fabrications Ltd, each contributed £125,000.
Both men were clients of Mr Crawford, a Lisburn-based accountant and property developer who put in no money, according to court papers.
The balance was covered by the £1.5m loan agreed in November 2006.
After demanding repayment, the bank sought summary judgment against all three men, with interest and costs.
Mr Crawford took no part in the application, while the other two defended the action by claiming he had undue influence over them.
They also alleged breach of contract and/or a breach of duty of care on the part of the bank.
In his ruling, High Court Master Cathal McCorry noted the case involved buying land just before the collapse in the property market.
He said: "It is perhaps otiose to state it, but with the benefit of hindsight this was not a venture which was destined to be successful."
Master McCorry set out how Mr Crawford appeared to have initiated the venture and been its driving force.
"It was he who identified the site for purchase, made the initial approach to the First Trust Bank for funding, before shifting his attention in November 2006 to the plaintiff bank, with whom he carried out the negotiations on behalf of all three defendants," he said.
He ruled that Mr Wilson and Mr Donaldson had established a viable defence based on undue influence on the part of the bank's claim relating to accrued interest - some £332,411.
But according to Master McCorry this did not extend to the main amount owed.
He stated: "The plaintiff is therefore entitled to summary judgment... on the capital sum and interest, save for that portion of the claim relating to interest or charges.
"Insofar as the first named defendant (Mr Crawford) is concerned, he took no part in these proceedings, the defence based on undue influence would not be available to him in any event, and the plaintiff is therefore entitled to judgment in respect of the entire sum against him."
At 15:02:01 in HeadlinesBriton Harry Christopher Woolhouse, 32, from Peterborough, dies in bus crash in Malaysia
At 15:01:24 in EnglandBusiness leaders have urged Condor Ferries and council bosses to work together to ensure the ferry operator stays in Weymouth.
At 14:56:49 in Northern IrelandPolice are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 30-year-old woman in west Belfast.
At 14:52:32 in Northern IrelandUp to 5,000 people have attended a ceremony in Dublin to commemorate the 1916 Easter Rising.
At 14:38:52 in EnglandA 68-year-old man has been charged with murder after a woman died at a house in Wiltshire.
At 14:38:41 in Northern IrelandA crew member from the Derry-Londonderry yacht, who fell overboard in the Pacific Ocean in March, has rejoined the crew.
At 14:33:27 in EnglandA Slough man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a woman was found with neck injuries.
At 14:33:17 in HeadlinesA drone attack in south Yemen has killed a number of suspected al-Qaeda fighters, defence officials and local tribal chiefs say.
At 14:30:06 in SportRed Bull's Daniel Ricciardo moved to defuse a potential dispute with team-mate Sebastian Vettel over team orders at the Chinese Grand Prix.
At 14:20:48 in EnglandCuts in local authority spending are having "sinful consequences", the Bishop of Truro has claimed.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Court rules money must be paid back to Bank of Ireland [Online] (Updated 4th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426568/Court-rules-money-must-be-paid-back-to-Bank-of-Ireland [Accessed 20th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
BBC News presenter George Alagiah has thanked viewers for their messages of goodwill after his cancer diagnosis.
Two men are in hospital after an accident at a garage in Aberdeenshire.
Ministers are being urged to end restrictions that prevent many garden centres in England and Wales from opening on Easter Sunday.
A drone attack in south Yemen has killed a number of suspected al-Qaeda fighters, defence officials and local tribal chiefs say.
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 30-year-old woman in west Belfast.