Judge tells man who owes the mother of his child €5k in ar­rears...

Irish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Gor­don Dee­gan

A FA­THER who failed to keep up pay­ments for his own lit­tle girl has been told by a judge to sell his ‘ex­pen­sive’ car or face jail.

The man spent an en­tire €18,000 per­sonal in­jury award from a car crash in three months, in­clud­ing €10,000 on the car, the Fam­ily Law Court in En­nis heard.

He is now €5,350 in ar­rears in main­te­nance pay­ments. Solic­i­tor Ann Walsh, for the child’s mother, told the court that af­ter ex­am­in­ing the man’s bank state­ments she could see that the €18,000 was spent be­tween April and June this year.

Ms Walsh said the weekly main­te­nance

pay­ments are €50 and the man told the court that he is cur­rently pay­ing his weekly main­te­nance. Af­ter hear­ing of the car pur­chase, Judge Pa­trick Dur­can told him: ‘You are go­ing to get that car off the road or I will send you to jail. You have done noth­ing for the mother of your child.’ In re­sponse, the man said: ‘I have.’ Judge Dur­can told him: ‘You haven’t. There are sub­stan­tial ar­rears of main­te­nance here.’

The judge said that he wanted full de­tails of the award.

He told the man: ‘You are fac­ing jail. I am telling you that be­cause in my view, €18,000 came in and you did noth­ing for the mother of your child.

‘You put a car un­der your own self. Do you un­der­stand the trou­ble you are in?’ he asked. In re­ply the man said: ‘I do, but I was buy­ing stuff for my child as well.’ Judge Dur­can said: ‘When you got the money, you put it into the bank and you bought a car. That car can be sold again, do you fol­low me?’

Judge Dur­can told the fa­ther: ‘You bet­ter look af­ter the car care­fully and bring it to a good car valet man and have it pol­ished.’

In re­sponse, the man said: ‘I need my car for work.’

In re­ply, Judge Dur­can said: ‘Yes. You can get a dif­fer­ent car, you don’t need a €10,000 model un­der you.

‘I want you to get a work­ing model – I want to see this lady paid do you fol­low me?’ he added.

The man said that the ac­ci­dent in which he was awarded the money hap­pened three years ago when the car in which he was a pas­sen­ger over­turned. He said he has re­cov­ered from his in­juries. Judge Dur­can ad­vised the man to get a solic­i­tor.

He said: ‘I am not happy that monies were lodged to your ac­count, when they should have been lodged to the ac­count for the ben­e­fit of the mother of your child.’

He added: ‘I am not happy that you went out and bought an ex­pen­sive mo­tor car when these monies could have been used to deal with ar­rears.’

Judge Dur­can said that he was direct­ing that all doc­u­men­ta­tion con­cern­ing the civil claim from the man’s per­sonal in­jury award be sent through to his ex-partner’s solic­i­tor, Ms Walsh.

The judge said that he would ad­journ the mat­ter for two weeks when he ex­pects all doc­u­ments to be in court.

The judge said: ‘I do in­tend on mov­ing this for­ward rapidly.’

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