Judge dismisses trust founder’s claims to property

A High Court judge has delivered a withering dismissal of “nonsense” claims that Charles Allen Sr made to a Georgian property signed into his mysterious trust.

Mr Justice Sean Ryan said the receiver of Lotamore House, Tivoli Rd, Cork, was under no obligation to take seriously a notice sent to him by the trust in October.

He said the “Notice of Fraud and Barratry”, and a subsequent “Notice of Dishonour”, had no legal basis and that would be clear to anybody who looked at them. Judge Ryan said the documents were used by Mr Allen to lay claim to land which he had “no interest in whatsoever”.

The judge said the warnings, issued on behalf of the Rodolphus Allen Private Family Trust, might have been designed to provide some form of justification for unlawful activity.

“It is perfectly obvious to anybody who knows anything, whether lawyer or non-lawyer, that these notices are nonsense.

“They are not meant to convince anybody but they may have the impact of intimidating people or they may fool others that there is some justification for acting on them.”

The judge was ruling on whether Mr Allen should have to pay costs of injunction proceedings that the receiver, David Carson, took to keep the trust off the Lotamore House property.

Mr Allen’s barrister had said his client accepted the terms of the injunction but he should not have to pay costs because the receiver had been warned, when the notices were sent, that there was a rival ownership claim on the property.

The judge said those notices could not be taken seriously so the costs’ claim was indefensible.

He ordered Mr Allen to pay the legal bills.

On Monday, Mr Allen was arrested on the property in Tivoli on foot of a separate bench warrant, after he had begun moving into the outhouses at Lotamore House. He had been a fugitive for two months but was located by the Irish Examiner and reported to gardaí. While he was in custody a number of men associated with the trust moved onto the site. On Wednesday, the Garda Emergency Response Unit was called to the scene and a shotgun was discovered in a caravan that had been used by the trust.

Mr Justice Ryan said the circumstances that arose at Lotamore had revealed “unsatisfactory and unsavoury activity”.

However, he said now Mr Allen deserved credit for accepting the terms of the injunction and agreeing to leave the property alone.

Throughout the summer, Mr Allen charged administration fees to accept properties into his trust. People signed up in the expectation that he had a legal strategy that would prevent banks from laying claim to properties that had been given as security.

However, in court yesterday Mr Allen accepted a permanent injunction preventing him from interfering with the sale of Lotamore House, which had been signed into the trust.

Its previous owner was Sidney McElhinney Properties Ltd, but it is due to be sold for €650,000.

Earlier in the day Mr Allen had appeared before the same judge in relation to the case of trespassing on a stud farm in Kildare.

Initially, Mr Allen said he was “not aware” why he was before the court or of the orders made against in relation to the stud farm.

Mr Justice Ryan said it was usual for somebody coming into court to purge their contempt, as indicated, to say, “[I knew] what I was doing and it will not happen again”.

Mr Allen apologised to the judge for his contempt over the stud farm and undertook to abide by court orders not to interfere with the receivers of the farm at Kennycourt, near Naas.


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