Disgraced jeweller is convicted of indecently assaulting a child

A former Portadown jeweller has been convicted of indecently assaulting a child.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:28 am

Nigel O’Hara (66) was also convicted of three counts of indecent assault against a woman at Newry Crown Court.

The offences were committed on dates between May 2001 and September 2002.

O’Hara, from Ballyknock Road, Tandragee, was released on continuing bail and will be sentenced at the same court on May 28 following the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Nigel O'Hara.

His jewellery firm shut its doors in 2015 leading to three members of the family being charged over their conduct as directors.

They were each disqualified as company directors after their Portadown jewellery firm went bust in 2015 leaving a debt of almost £2 million.

Nigel O’Hara was disqualified for seven years.

In 2018 the Department for the Economy accepted the trio’s disqualifications in respect of their conduct as directors of JRN Retail Group Limited.

The jewellery store was a fixture of Portadown town centre having been trading for more than four decades.

When the jewellers announced it was closing in November 2015, Nigel O’Hara blamed the ‘negative influence of Rushmere and traffic wardens on the town, leaving me no choice but to close after 42 years in the trade’.

A department spokesperson said: “The Company traded in the retail of watches and jewellery from William Street and went into administration on 30 November 2015 and subsequently went into liquidation on 26 May 2017.”

The Department added: “There was an estimated total assets available for preferential creditors of £46,745, preferential creditors of £2,000, estimated total assets available to unsecured creditors of £44,745, unsecured non-preferential claims of £1,816,643 and an estimated deficiency as regards creditors of £1,771,898.

“After taking into account the losses incurred by shareholders of the Company the estimated total deficiency was £1,771,998.”

In respect of Nigel O’Hara, he was disqualified following unfit conduct such as failing to maintain adequate accounting records.

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