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Jim Mansfield Jnr found guilty of perverting the course of justice

Mansfield Jnr was acquitted of a separate charge of conspiracy to falsely imprison his former employee Martin Byrne.

Image: Alamy Stock Photo

PROPERTY MAGNATE JIM Mansfield Jnr has been taken into custody after he was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by ordering the destruction of CCTV footage showing him with his former employee Martin Byrne on the morning that Byrne was kidnapped by “dangerous” criminals Dessie O’Hare and Declan ‘Whacker’ Duffy.

The 54-year-old was acquitted by the Special Criminal Court of a separate charge of conspiracy to falsely imprison Byrne, who had previously provided security for the family business.

The court found that although Mansfield had knowingly involved notorious criminals Dessie O’Hare and Declan “Whacker” Duffy in his attempts to recover assets lost in the 2008 economic crash, there was not sufficient evidence to show that Mansfield knew the two men planned to kidnap Byrne.

Delivering the verdict of the three-judge, non-jury court today, Mr Justice Alex Owens said the court cannot exclude the possibility that Mansfield was misled by Dessie O’Hare as to the purpose of the meeting with Martin Byrne.

He added that the court “has no way of knowing how much knowledge he had of the forces he would unleash by involving” O’Hare and Duffy, whom he described as “very dangerous players”.

The judge said that CCTV footage from Finnstown House Hotel on 9 June 2015 showed Mansfield with Byrne before the two men travelled together to Keating Park where Byrne was kidnapped by Duffy and O’Hare.

Mr Justice Owens said Mansfield told Patrick Byrne, Martin Byrne’s brother, to destroy the footage because he knew Byrne had been kidnapped by people with whom Mansfield was directly involved.

The footage, Mr Justice Owens said, showed Mansfield “had a role in putting Martin Byrne in harm’s way.”

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Mansfield Jnr, of Tasaggart House, Garters Lane, Saggart, Co Dublin pleaded not guilty to conspiring with one or more persons to falsely imprison Martin Byrne on a date unknown between 1 January 2015 and 30 June 2015. He was found not guilty on that count.

He also denied attempting to pervert the course of justice by directing Patrick Byrne to destroy recorded CCTV footage, with the alleged intention of perverting the course of public justice in relation to the false imprisonment of Martin Byrne (53) at Finnstown House Hotel, Newcastle Road, Lucan, Co Dublin between 9 June 2015 and 12 June 2015. He was convicted on that count.

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Eoin Reynolds

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