Belfast Telegraph

Jailing Quinn legally wrong: lawyer

It was legally wrong to jail the son of ex-billionaire Sean Quinn in an attempt to coerce the former tycoon to reverse an asset-stripping plot, an appeal hearing has been told.

The Supreme Court heard that Sean Quinn junior was jailed indefinitely at Mountjoy Prison for one offence despite his father being convicted for more serious charges.

The 33-year-old was found guilty of one charge of contempt and sentenced in July while his father was allowed to walk free, even though he was blamed for financially more significant moves.

During a legal challenge to overturn the sentence and conviction for contempt, Quinn junior's legal team argued he was ordered to comply with several coercive orders he had no involvement with and had no power over.

Brian O'Moore, senior counsel, told the court it was "incorrect and legally wrong", as well as "wrong in principle", for the High Court to jail his client to encourage his father to purge his contempt and recover half a billion euro in assets for the former Anglo Irish Bank.

"If Sean Quinn senior had the ultimate power to comply with coercive orders, one wonders why his son is in jail," the barrister said.

A smartly-dressed Quinn junior - on day release from Mountjoy's low-security training centre - sat at the back of the courtroom next to his wife, Karen Woods, as his case was opened. He was also flanked by a plain-clothes prison officer and his brother-in-law, solicitor Niall McPartland.

Quinn junior and his cousin Peter Darragh Quinn were jailed in July for breaching court orders restraining the stripping of 500 million euro of assets in the Quinns' now carved-up International Property Group.

His cousin, son of former GAA president Peter Quinn, remains on the run in Northern Ireland.

Quinn senior, who was not in court for the hearing, remains free to assist the bailed-out bank to recover the assets.

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