PLEASE APPRECIATE THAT I GET SENT MORE INFORMATION AND LEADS THAN I CAN USE. I TRY TO RESPOND TO EVERYONE WHO CONTACTS ME BUT I CANNOT POSSIBLY USE EVERY BIT OF INFORMATION I’M SENT. DIOLCH YN FAWR
You will recall that last week I planned on giving you a few reports from here and there, but one just grew to the point where it took over? Well, would you believe it – the same thing has happened again this week!
The purpose of this piece is two-fold. First, to bring you up to date with recent developments; second, to take a fuller look at the background and those involved in the recent acquisition of more land.
To cut a long story short . . . Bryn Llys was a traditional smallholding near the village of Nebo, not far from Caernarfon. Then it was bought by a gang of fraudsters from West Yorkshire. To launder the proceeds of crime they went on a building spree.
The head of the gang is perhaps John Joseph Duggan. I say ‘perhaps’, because with him being in prison quite often, or on the run, business seems to be handled by his son, Jonathan James Duggan.
Because neither Duggan is officially supposed to have any money, Bryn Llys is, for the Land Registry record, owned by their associate Andrew Battye.
Explained in this piece from March, ‘Bryn Llys, unravelling’. (And earlier pieces. Just type ‘Bryn Llys’ into the search box atop the sidebar.)
Before going away for his most recent period of incarceration Duggan senior brought a bit of excitement to sleepy Benllech when police swooped to arrest him. (Police always ‘swoop’ in situations like that.)
They also paid a visit to Bryn Llys looking for him.
On paper, Battye is central to the whole operation, but in the real world, as observers testify, he cuts a rather sorry and peripheral figure. At best, a decoy; at worst – for him! – the fall guy.
Desperation to move money combined with a total absence of taste resulted in an ‘extension’ to Bryn Llys in a style that I would describe as Dickensian workhouse. This soon dwarfed the original building and it was put on the market last year – as ‘Snowdon Summit View’ – for £850,000.
There were no takers, so it went to auction in February with a guide price of £650,000. Again, no takers. There’s a lesson here, one that those involved may be too stupid to learn. So let me spell it out for them.
The reason they can’t find a buyer is that anyone making basic enquiries about Bryn Llys soon learns that there are enforcement notices and other legal issues hanging over this monstrosity. Then there are the disputes with neighbours . . . police raids . . .
And more recently, court appearances. (More about these later.)
This is trouble gang members have brought on themselves because they turned up in Nebo with a sack full of swag believing they could intimidate neighbours, bamboozle planners, and just steamroller their plans through.
Plans exposed by the formation in June last year of Bryn Llys Ltd, a company in the business of “Holiday centres and villages”.
4 GLANRAFON TERRACE
Before bringing you up to date with the latest developments I need to delve a little deeper into the recent acquisition made by the gang. Some ten acres of land that came with the purchase of 4 Glanrafon Terrace. For this is central to the Duggans’ grand vision.
The recent changes are set out in the plans below, which will also give you the lie of the land. It might help if you keep this open in another window.
Plan 1 shows the boundaries of Bryn Llys, together with the access road, after it had been split into two titles with both, officially, held by Andrew Battye (Image: Ordnance Survey, Land Registry.) Here’s the title document for Bryn Llys, and here for the land adjoining.
Plan 2 shows the original boundary for 4 Glanrafon Terrace and the land attached. (Image: Ordnance Survey, Land Registry.) Here’s the title document.
Plan 3 shows the land, edged in red, sold to Jonathan Duggan following the purchase of 4 Glanrafon Terrace by Aaron Hill. (Image: Ordnance Survey, Land Registry.) Here’s the title document.
Plan 4 shows the new access road Jonathan Duggan has laid to Bryn Llys despite there being an enforcement notice against this work. (Image: JPJ Architectural Design, Llandudno.)
Although Duggan argues that he needs the new road for agricultural purposes, the Duggans know nothing about farming. Though, in fairness, a few cows have now appeared at Bryn Llys, with bovine recruits and established gang members staring at each other in mutual bewilderment.
Back to Glanrafon Terrace.
From around 2006 the house was home to Nicholas Brian Williams and David Brookwell. It is suggested that Brookwell had suffered an injury and that Williams was his carer. Whatever the truth of it, I have found two men with the same names living next door to the Tregib Arms in Upper Brynamman in 2004/5.
Williams and Brookwell eventually fell behind with their mortgage repayments and around March 14, 2018 the property was repossessed by lenders AMG. But it was not straightforward. Security guards were needed on the property 24/7 to stop Jonathan Duggan taking over the adjoining land he claimed and laying the access road for which he had no planning permission.
There seems little doubt that once he realised they were in financial difficulties Jonathan Duggan homed in on Williams and Brookwell. They perhaps agreed to sell the land to him. Whatever agreement might have been made was made late in the day, with the vultures already circling.
After their home had been repossessed Nick Williams and David Brookwell were graciously allowed to live at Bryn Llys, but soon given the heave-ho when they were of no further use to Jonathan Duggan.
I hear they may have moved south, and that Nick Williams was managing a charity shop in Cardigan.
I feel sorry for them. Whatever settlement they received from the lender following the sale would have been considerably reduced by having to pay for 24-hour security thanks to Duggan’s behaviour. They may have been left with nothing.
And now it gets really strange.
Some time after the property had been repossessed a document appeared claiming to show that Williams and Brookwell had entered into an agreement with Jonathan Duggan’s wife, Emma, and Andrew Battye, to sell them the land adjoining 4 Glanrafon Terrace. Read it here.
But the document threw up a number of questions.
Superficially, it looks the real deal. But it’s a document that can be found on sites like this, even the details can be filled in online before the form is downloaded.
In the accompanying e-mails you’ll see that the solicitor acting for
Jonathan Emma Duggan and Andrew Battye was Kathryn Elizabeth Parry of Parry and Co Solicitors Limited of Liverpool.
This company has been in liquidation for over a year.
I’m not sure it ever did much business, and it seems to have been stripped before the liquidator arrived. For if you check the liquidator’s statement from July, under ‘Asset realisations’, you’ll see ‘Nil’ recorded against fixtures and fittings, motor vehicles and computer equipment.
Which might suggest that Kate Parry travelled everywhere by bus and did all her business face to face and by word of mouth. That’s not true, of course, but the liquidator’s report is worth reading.
According to her Linkedin profile Kate landed on her feet, for she is now a senior solicitor at Victor Welsh Solicitor & Notary Public. I can’t find a website other than this, possibly because the company was only formed last October.
An unusual move you might think for a man of 73 years.
Though perhaps I’m being a little unfair, for according to Companies House Vic is a Renaissance businessman. Being a past or present director of investment vehicles, buy-to-rent companies, residential homes and a golf club.
It is suspected the document alleging an agreement between the Bryn Llys gang and the residents of 4 Glanrafon Terrace was concocted when it became obvious that repossession was in the offing. And backdated to November 2013.
Because that date is within weeks of Duggan turning up at Bryn Llys, and before Williams and Brookwell could have known him, so why would they enter into such an agreement? Especially as repossession was a long way away.
And if Duggan really had that agreement in writing since November 2013 why did he spend the next few years making life hell for other neighbours demanding they make him concessions he already had?
The document is also suspect because it clearly wasn’t proof-read by a solicitor, or anyone else. A quick flick through turned up a number of curiosities.
For example, On page 3 I see, “Miss Emma Duggan”, but she’s Jonathan Duggan’s wife. Isn’t she?
At 4.2 a, we read “land adjourning 4 glanarfon terrace”.
The addresses for the four parties involved, and the dates on which it’s suggested they signed, were written by the same hand.
The only address and dates in a different hand are those for the witness – an odd-job man who works for Jonathan Duggan.
A half-decent lawyer would have fun with that document.
But it’s when I looked more closely into Kate Parry’s associations that the old Jac eyes opened wide.
Let’s go back to Kate Parry’s company, Parry & Co Solicitors Ltd. When we click on the ‘Charges’ tab we bring up three loans.
One came directly from Lee James Spencer, who was a director of Parry & Co in 2013/14. Another from LJS Corporate Projects Ltd, a company started by Spencer where Parry was a director. The third is Mass Medical Solutions Ltd, another Spencer company, this one in liquidation.
Clearly, there is some relationship between Parry and Spencer. So who is he?
In the caption to a photograph in this report from the Echo he is described as a “Liverpool businessman”.
The project discussed in the Echo report is Chinatown, located between the Anglican cathedral and the waterfront. It’s a project that has not gone smoothly. In fact, Chinatown is one of a number of major projects in central Liverpool that have either ground to a halt or collapsed altogether.
Make sure you read it in full. It’s a great piece of reporting, the kind of thing we never get from the mainstream media in Wales.
Things got so bad that in 2017 Liverpool City Council referred the New Chinatown project to the National Crime Agency, perhaps under pressure from investors in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and elsewhere who were beginning to realise they’d been taken for a ride by certain ‘Liverpool businessmen’.
Among the companies mentioned as having taken Far Eastern investors’ money and then gone bust is North Point Global Limited, formed in 2015 by Lee James Spencer. We also find Spencer as a director at China Town Development Company Ltd.
Although he doesn’t appear as a director of these Spencer companies Peter McInnes was definitely involved, as this report from the Echo makes clear.
“Mr McInnes became one of the biggest players in Liverpool’s vibrant regeneration scene through prominent roles at development firms PHD1 and North Point Global.
He spoke out on behalf of both companies as they embarked on plans to transform Liverpool city centre, with his quotes appearing on press releases marking key stages of projects with a projected value of more than £320m.
They included the New Chinatown deal for proposals for 800 homes, 200,000 sq ft of shops and the creation of as many as 1,000 jobs in a massive scheme set to lie in the shadow of the Anglican Cathedral.”
Yet despite that write-up McInnes prefers to take a back seat. We see PHD1 mentioned in the Echo report. There are a string of PHD companies where McInnes’ interests are represented by his sister, Julie Caroline McInnes.
Then there’s North Point (Pall Mall) Ltd where I found (son?) Joshua McInnes.
Though I’m sure it’s the headline to the story that caught your eye. You can almost hear the kiddies in the audience shouting back – ‘Oh yes you do!’ Bless ’em!
So let’s recap.
The Bryn Llys gang holds a remarkable document proving that Jonathan Duggan is the true Tsar of All the Russias . . . or at least he might have some sort of arrangement to buy a few acres near his demesne.
To promote this claim the Bryn Llys gang chose a Liverpool solicitor who keeps very racy company indeed. But how did it come about?
For Kate Parry was running a shoestring outfit few people had heard of, and may have existed primarily to serve Lee James Spencer. Duggan is from West Yorkshire with, as far as I’m aware, no Merseyside connections. So how did they find each other?
You may be thinking along similar lines to me, so we’ll leave it there for the time being.
JONATHAN DUGGAN HAS HIS DAY(S) IN COURT
The Bryn Llys Gang was in court a few weeks ago and found guilty of breaching an enforcement notice. Jonathan Duggan was bound over for 12 months, Battye for 9 months, and Emma Duggan for 6 months.
It was reported, ‘The judge added Mr Battye, who owned the building and continues to pay the mortgage, had “lost interest in the property and washed his hands of his responsibilities.”‘
Think about that for a minute. Here’s a man who’s bought a large property on which he’s still paying the mortgage. People he’s generously allowed to live there are behaving as if they own the place, and his only response is to shrug his shoulders!
How about . . . Battye doesn’t own Bryn Llys, and he never did.
The ‘architect’ shown in the picture is Scott Smith, half-brother to Jonathan Duggan. For a while Smith had his own company, Diseno Ltd, which drew up the plans used in the alleged ‘agreement’.
The day after the family gathering in Llandudno Magistrates Court Jonathan Duggan was back for breaching an enforcement notice regarding an unauthorised bridge on the newly-acquired land. He lost, again.
The reason Battye wasn’t in court for the second hearing was because the new land is owned by Jonathan Duggan. But it’s not that simple.
For after 4 Glanrafon Terrace failed to sell at the Paul Fosh auction earlier this year it was bought by Aaron Hill, another Englishman being victimised in Wales. And then, Hill loaned Duggan £50,000 to buy the land from him!
Because as I keep telling you – Duggan doesn’t officially have any money!
Though, thinking of money . . . in the ‘agreement’ we see £5,500 mentioned, this being the figure Emma Duggan and Andrew Battye were to pay for the land. Yet Duggan claims to have paid Hill £50,000. So either he was cheated or Williams and Brookwell were going to be cheated.
I wonder . . .
It’s all so complicated, and failure to understand the complexities of Bryn Llys may have led to JPJ Architectural making a howler. Go back to plan 4 above, and in the legend on the right you’ll read: “Blue line represents Bryn Llys site boundary prior to purchasing the additional land”.
But the new land does not form part of Bryn Llys. They’re two separate titles. Bryn Llys is owned by Andrew Battye and the new land by Jonathan Duggan – bought with a loan from Aaron Hill! Officially.
Though you have to wonder why Hill bought the property at all. Did Duggan give him the money to make the purchase?
One not mentioned in the court reports, but who deserves recognition, is Shane Baker. It was Baker who got me interested in Bryn Llys when, on Twitter a couple of years ago, he called me “a right cunt”. (I had to rummage in my drawers for great-aunt Fastidia’s smelling salts after reading that!)
Shane is a BritNat of the variety that believes people like him, the Duggans, Aaron Hill, Paul Williams, Gavin Lee Woodhouse, Myles Cunliffe, et al should be able to stomp into Wales and do what they damn well like because they are English and we are mere Welsh.
Shane Baker lives on the Bryn Llys site, in a large caravan. His role is to flog off goods, equipment, machinery, etc., that the Duggans have obtained but have no intention of paying for. This being their modus operandi.
And we are not talking small items from Amazon left in the porch. One excavator caused a hell of a lot of damage as it was being removed. This may be another reason Duggan wants a new access – so he can order, not pay for, and flog off, even bigger machinery!
Baker made a few comments to the Daily Post report on the first court appearance as ‘Shakingshane’ (for he is a performer in the Rock ‘n’ Roll genre). “The council up to there old tricks again , there all bent”, he sagely contributed.
Before washing up in Gwynedd Shane Baker lived in south west England where he amused himself – and indeed others – as vocalist for a band called Kabinrock. If you feel up to it, here’s a video of him jumping around at a wedding reception.
Getting the gang into court over planning issues is progress, I suppose. But the real crimes are still going unpunished.
Pressure must now be maintained; by neighbours, council, and police. There are weak links in this chain that might crack under pressure. And when they do, they’ll have a lot to say.
Also, let’s make sure that no local suppliers or contractors deal with the Bryn Llys gang. Neighbours were disappointed to see a Llŷn contractor working on the unauthorised access track. I’m sure he now knows what sort of people he’s been dealing with.
Jonathan Duggan’s attitude to life is to ignore rules, laws, and all decent forms of human behaviour; to push a situation as far as he can to his advantage and then stand back and say – ‘Well, what are you gonna to do about it?’ Let’s show him what we’re going to do about it.
Because what sort of country is Wales that it attracts and tolerates people like this, and allows them to prosper? Obviously, a homeland over which we Welsh have no real control. It’s time to change that, for this and so many other reasons.
Finally, there’s always room on my stack of solicitors’ letters for one more. So I’ll say it again: Jonathan James Duggan is a liar, a bully, and a crook.
♦ end ♦