Tuesday 19 November 2019

Abuser in €4m ruling is allowed €500 to live on a week

Tim Healy

A RETIRED company director at the centre of a landmark €4m sex abuse award can have €500 per week living expenses from one of his frozen bank accounts which holds over €74,000, the High Court ruled.

Joseph Carrick (76) was also ordered to disclose all information in relation to to his financial position or face cross- examination in court about it.

Last month, Jacqueline O'Toole, who was raped and became pregnant by Carrick when she was a schoolgirl, was awarded the record €4m in damages. Her cousin and best friend Geraldine Nolan, who was also raped and abused by him was awarded €700,000 in damages by a separate High Court jury. The women also obtained freezing orders over his assets which meant he could not reduce them below €5m.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne was told by counsel for a receiver appointed over his assets that there had been an attempt by Carrick to draw down funds from an Irish Life pension fund he held. There were concerns he was trying to strip or dissipate his assets, counsel said.

It had been established he held accounts in National Irish Bank, Irish Permanent Building Society and a sum of around €74,411 in Bank of Ireland. He had also a business partner who may have an interest in his assets.

The receiver had been trying to ascertain the value of them from various institutions, counsel said.

Carrick, who did not defend the actions brought against him by the two women, had claimed he needed at least €2,701 a month in living expenses. This includes the upkeep of two homes and outgoings such as mortgage repayments, private health insurance, utility bills, life assurance and food.

It was argued the amount being sought was high given that the maximum State pension is €230 per week. Ms Justice Dunne said having read affidavits and looked at the living expenses claim, as a matter of practicality she believed it would be sensible to fix it at €500 per week.

She granted orders continuing the freezing of his assets and said the living expenses should only be paid out from the Bank of Ireland account which holds €74,411. She also ordered Carrick to disclose all his other assets.

She adjourned the matter to January.

Irish Independent

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