Trading Standards advice ‘had not been adhered to’

Court
Court

A man who ran the business in Portadown lost in the region of £300,000 and his house because of the collapse of the business.

Mr Brendan Hagan, solicitor, said that Nigel O’Hara operated a well-respected jewellery business for 30 years in Portadown.

He explained that in 2008 his son Richard decided to go down the route of online business, which was growing, and they were advertising thousands of items.

Mr Hagan said that the business model put in place for the online business was somewhat suspect to say the least and the defendants (Richard O’Hara and JRN Retail Group Limited) experienced a problem with cash flow which was absolutely essential to the business.

He added that given the expansion of the business there were instances when items were ordered which may not have been available to customers.

District Judge Des Perry wondered what funding had to do with a television sold at a current price and advertised at a lower price and a 100 per cent cash prize which was never won.

“That has nothing to do with funding, it’s just plain dishonesty,” he added.

Mr Hagan said the defendants had received good advice from Trading Standards but that had not been adhered to.

“These matters should have been attended to, advertising should have been genuine and not in any way fraudulent,” said Mr Hagan.

But, he added, there were a lot of satisfied customers who bought and came back and bought again. The company should have responded to the good advice from Trading Standards.

Mr Hagan said that employees lost their jobs and Mr Nigel O’Hara, who is the other director of JRN and ran the jewellery business, lost in the region of £300,000 and his house.

He also added that for the defendant, Richard O’Hara, it had been financially devastating for him.

Mr Hagan said the company had stopped trading since March 2016 and Richard O’Hara was now bankrupt.

n Mr Nigel O’Hara has not faced any charges in relation to these matters.