Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 26 October 2014

NIO official offered me payoff, says taxi owner

A former loyalist prisoner whose taxi business was destroyed by paramilitaries was offered £40,000 by the Government “to go away”, it was claimed in the High Court.

Lawyers for Jackie Mahood also alleged that a senior NIO official was sent as an envoy |to suggest a cash figure during a “back-channel” meeting with DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson.

Mr Mahood (55) is challenging Secretary of State Shaun Woodward's decision to refuse him discretionary compensation for repeated attacks on his Call-A-Cab business in north Belfast.

Paul Maguire QC, for the Secretary of State, insisted it was an “untruth” to claim the official, who has since retired, suggested the Secretary of State would be willing to pay £40,000.

“No such conversation took place,” he said.

After hearing both sides Mr Justice Weatherup reserved judgment in the judicial review application.

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