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Father and son facing glass scam charges

£300k fraud carried out, court is told

By Nevin Farrell

Published 25/05/2016

Seamus Laverty leaving Antrim court
Seamus Laverty leaving Antrim court
James Laverty leaving Antrim court
Ulster Hospital in Dundonald
Maynooth College

A father and son sold standard laminated glass as the fire-resistant variety in a £300,000 fraud affecting schools, hospitals and care homes, a court heard yesterday.

Seamus James Laverty (57) and James Laverty (26), from Toomebridge in Co Antrim, are jointly charged with 39 counts of fraud by false representation, a hearing at Antrim Magistrates Court was told.

The Ulster Hospital in Belfast, Brooklands care homes, Bessbrook Health Centre in Co Armagh and Maynooth College in the Republic are among their alleged victims.

Other institutions said to have been affected include Maghera Parish Church and the Royal School, Armagh among others.

Both defendants are also charged with converting £23,000 of criminal property by buying items associated with a rally car, and with possessing £10,000 of criminal property in the form of cash. The offences, which are linked to a dissolved Randalstown firm called Glassworks Ireland Ltd, are alleged to have been committed between the years 2010 and 2013.

Defence lawyers Aaron Thompson and Adam George asked for the case to be adjourned until June, a motion accepted by District Judge Alan White, who described the case as a "very unusual" one that involved a huge amount of evidence - approximately 1,000 pages. Legal aid was granted for both father and son after a request from Mr George.

Both of the defendants were in the court building, but neither attended the hearing.

The address for Glassworks Ireland was listed as Hillview Business Park, Randalstown, but there are no signs referring to the company in the area.

Locations named in the charges include Ulster Hospital, Maghera Parish Church, The Royal School Armagh and Greenvale Leisure Centre.

Magherafelt High School, Almac laboratory, Downpatrick Civic Centre, Carrick Primary School, Bessbrook Health Centre, Queen's Univeristy staff accommodation, The Design Centre in Omagh and Strathern School are also said to have been affected by the fraud.

Other alleged victims include Granville Manor Assisted Living, National University of Ireland Galway, Brooklands care homes; the Lisburn Road Methodist Church, Clanmil Housing Association, Gelvin Grange, Boojum restaurant in Galway, and Marks and Spencer in both Bangor and Sprucefield Shopping Centre.

Others belived to have been hit include DW Sports in Leicester, England, Colliemore Apartments in Dublin, an urban retail outlet in Camden, DW Sports in Gainsborough, a KFC in Edinburgh, Hamleys in Cardiff; Welcome Centre, the Belfast Welcome Centre and Titanic Quarter, The French Rooms in Bushmills, St James House in Dublin, St Mary's National School in County Meath and more.

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