AN alleged illegal moneylender has appeared before a sitting of Kilrush District Court accused of engaging a man to threaten to shoot or torch the home of a debtor.
John Thomas Naughton (64), with an address at O’Gorman Street in Kilrush, appeared before the local district court this week charged with engaging in moneylending without a moneylender’s licence granted by the Director of Consumer Affairs on a date unknown between April 1, 2014 and May 31, 2014. The offence is contrary to section 98(1) of Consumer Credit Act 1995.
He is further charged that at O’Gorman Street, Kilrush he did without lawful excuse, through a third party, make a threat intending that it would be feared it would be carried out, to damage the house belonging to the injured party in the case. The offence, which is contrary to Section 3 of the Criminal Damage Act 1991, is alleged to have occurred on a date unknown between July 18, 2016 and July 25, 2016.
Inspector Tom Kennedy, prosecuting, said the Director of Public Prosecutions consented to the matter being dealt with in the district court and outlined the allegations for the court to consider whether it would hear the case or not.
He said the matter originated in May 2014 when, it would be alleged, the injured party borrowed a sum of €500 from the defendant, who the State would say was “acting as a lender of money”.
“There was a verbal agreement that €750 would be repaid for the €500 loan. The injured party wasn’t able to meet the deadline and repay the money, so the amount then went to €1,000. Again, the injured party failed to pay it,” Inspector Kennedy said.
He said it would further be alleged that in July 2016 the injured party was approached by a third party [the named man in the charge] at the behest of John Naughton, whereby the injured party was shown a photograph of his own house and was told “he would be shot or the house would be torched”.
Judge Patrick Durcan accepted jurisdiction and adjourned the matter to April 11 for the defendant to enter a plea or to fix a date for hearing.
By Carol Byrne