Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Rogerson, bikie 'offered woman protection'

A DILAPIDATED Kings Cross hotel, long court proceedings, anonymous death threats and a tea party in Darling Point with ''Big Jim'' Byrnes, Roger Rogerson and Hells Angels boss Felix Lyle.

They are all at the centre of a civil suit unfolding in the Supreme Court of NSW this week, with Sydney woman Virginia Diroy Nemeth suing Mr Byrnes and two companies of which his wife Catherine is the sole director.

Ms Nemeth, 57, is claiming that she was exploited when she signed a contract with Australian Litigation Funders and Australian Corporate Restructuring Services in January 2010, during a court case related to her divorce.

Ms Nemeth, who was in 2009 one of the owners of the Hampton Court Hotel in Kings Cross, alleges that during previous court proceedings she received an anonymous letter saying her stepson, Anthony, wanted to have her killed.

Shortly after she received the letter in December 2009, she said a friend arranged a meeting with her, Mr Byrnes, disgraced former police officer Roger Rogerson and Mr Lyle at her eastern suburbs home.

According to Ms Nemeth's statement of claim Mr Rogerson and Mr Lyle offered to protect her.
At the same meeting, Mr Byrnes is alleged to have told her he would manage and fund Ms Nemeth's part in the court proceedings, would arrange for her stepson to be offered $10 million to leave her alone and would negotiate the sale of the hotel for $60 million.

''The plaintiff feared that if she did not enter into an agreement with Jim Byrnes, she would be exposed to physical violence, including her own death at the hands of (her stepson), or his associates,'' the statement of claim said.

Mr Byrnes knew, or should have known, that Ms Nemeth had no need to obtain funding, because she could apply to the court for an interim order for legal costs and expenses, the statement of claim said.

It said Mr Byrnes and the companies exploited Ms Nemeth's ''special disadvantage'', in that she was in an unstable emotional state and was suffering from depression.
The companies have filed a cross-claim.

Clarification: The original version of this story did not name Ms Nemeth's stepson. The Herald wishes to make it clear that this person is Anthony, not Paul, Nemeth.

12 Feb, 2013 09:06 AM