A well-known Coleraine solicitor - who has been cleared of involvement in a mortgage scam involving hundreds of thousands of pounds - says he was both “shocked” and “hurt” by accusations of wrongdoing.
Paul Boyle (56), of Lodge Road, Coleraine, was acquitted of obtaining services by deception, when he appeared before Mr Justice Weir at Laganside Courts in Belfast on Wednesday.
Mr Boyle had been charged on January 23, 2006, with dishonestly obtaining a service, namely a mortgage, to the value of £76,451 from Birmingham Midshires on a property at 28 Temple Park, Coleraine by a deception, namely that the offer of the mortgage was based on a purchase price of £92,000 whereas the actual price was £84,000.
Another Coleraine solicitor, an independent mortgage adviser and six others face multiple charges including fraud, deception, false accounting and acquiring criminal property.
Welcoming the decision by the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) not to proceed with the charge against him, Mr Boyle said in a statement to The Coleraine Times: “I remain dismayed at the decision to prosecute in the first place given the lack of evidence of any criminal behaviour on my part. Back in August 2009 I went as a voluntary attender to the police, to assist them in what I understood was a far reaching investigation into possible mortgage fraud.
“I was shocked in August last year when I was served with a summons alleging mortgage fraud.
“Having conducted myself honestly as a solicitor for over thirty years, it was very hurtful to have my integrity called into question, and only now be able to respond publicly.”
Mr Boyle thanked friends, family and legal colleagues for their support. “The last eight months have been challenging. I am very grateful for the support of my wife, family and friends throughout that difficult time.
“I am also very glad for the support of my loyal staff, clients, members of our local Solicitors Association and the wider community, legal and otherwise. Finally many thanks to my legal team of Solicitor Brendan McLernon (D A McKenna & Co, New Row, Coleraine) and barrister Michael Campbell, for their sound advice, legal skill and professionalism.”