April 2021

Armagh jeweller Nigel O’Hara convicted of indecent assaults

SHAMED: NIgel O’Hara

A jeweller who once attracted a record number of complaints to Trading Standards has been convicted of indecently assaulting a child.

Nigel O’Hara was also found guilty of three counts of indecent assault against a woman at Newry Crown Court.

The 66-year-old committed the offences on dates between May 2001 and September 2002.

O’Hara, from Tandragee in Co Armagh, who is still free on bail, will be sentenced at the same court on May 28 following the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

He previously made headlines in 2018 when he was disqualified from being a company director for seven years following the collapse of his firm, JRN Retail Group.

Based in Portadown and operating under the name Nigel O’Hara, it had gone bust three years earlier leaving debts of almost £2 million.

The jewellery business, which also had a website advertising 91,000 products for sale, saw a huge number of complaints by customers who had not received items for which they had paid.

The Trading Standards Service (TSS) said “many consumers were very distressed, as they believed that they had been caught out by online scammers”.

Despite advice from the service the company continued to leave customers fuming, with TSS noting “complaints grew at such an alarming rate that between July and September 2014, the business Nigel O’Hara became the most complained about business to the Trading Standards Service”.

The business was found to have misled consumers about the price of goods, about the ability to supply goods, sales promotions and discount offered on goods and a 100% cash back competition prize, where no winners were selected.

For his role in the company Nigel O’Hara was barred from being a company director for seven years by the Department for the Economy after admitting to not keeping accounts for 12 months. Between February 2013 and June 2014, O’Hara was also a director of Irish League side Glenavon.