Debt collector harassed and bullied woman, rules judge
A DEBT collector has been ordered to pay €22,500 damages to a woman who a judge said had been harassed, bullied and intimidated over a disputed debt with a builder.
Mr Justice Gerard Hogan ruled in the High Court that debt collector Patrick McCartan, of Greenbank Solutions, Rathgannon, Warrenpoint, Co Down, should pay damages to Deirdre Sullivan, from Clontarf, Dublin.
Ms Sullivan brought proceedings against Mr McCartan, as well as against Gerard Boylan and Gerard Boylan Building Contractors Ltd, of Drumboat, Inniskeen, Dundalk, Co Louth, who had hired Mr McCartan.
The judge said Ms Sullivan engaged Mr Boylan and his company to carry out building works at her property, which ended in May 2012.
She paid them €84,000 but a dispute arose over whether certain works had been carried out. The Boylan contractors hired Mr McCartan to recover what they claimed was a debt of €20,000. The debt is disputed by Ms Sullivan.
Mr McCartan sent her texts and emails last August demanding payment of the debt. He also made a number of telephone calls to her.
One message stated: "My calls and presence will continue. I will embarrass you to your neighbours if you continue."
In late August, she found a Northern Ireland-registered van, with the sign 'Licensed Debt Collectors' displayed on it, in front of her house.
A text from Mr McCartan read: "You have till Monday to put €20k in my account or else."
The judge ordered that Mr McCartan should pay Ms Sullivan general damages of €15,000 and a further €7,500 exemplary damages for his behaviour.