Sunday 25 February 2018

Carrick to appeal €4.7m sex abuse damages award

Joseph Carrick
Joseph Carrick

Tim Healy

A MAN ordered to pay €4.7m in damages for sexual abuse of two girls is to appeal the awards to the Supreme Court.

Last November, retired company director  Joseph Carrick was ordered to pay €4m to Jacqueline O'Toole and €700,000 to her cousin Geraldine Nolan after two separate High Court juries found he had raped them when they were children.

Mr Carrick (72), Carysfort Woods, Blackrock, Co Dublin, was not represented during the trials claiming he was unable to pay for solicitors and did not represent himself.

Last week, he lost a bid to have the awards set aside on grounds that he did not have the mental capacity to deal with the cases at the time.

Today in the High Court, John Rogers SC, for Mr Carrick, said he was seeking a stay on the awards and on the costs, pending appeal to the Supreme Court, but were not seeking to have an injunction freezing his client's assets lifted.

They were appealing the case both on the question of liability and on the amount of the awards, especially in light of a Supreme Court decision in which a jury awarded a victim of sexual abuse €650,000 but where, on appeal, this amount was reduced to €350,000.  They were also appealing last week's High Court decision refusing to set the awards aside.

Sasha Gayer SC, for Ms Nolan and Ms O'Toole, asked the court to order that some payment be made out to her clients as a condition of any stay.   She also said that since the freezing order on his assets had been made, a number of steps had been taken to try to have it varied so that Mr Carrick could have an increase in living expenses.

Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne said the fairest thing to do would be to grant a stay in circumstances where liability and the amount of the awards were being contested, but also where the freezing order remains in place so that his assets are protected in the event he is unsuccessful in his appeal.

She refused a request from the women's counsel that the freezing of assets injunction be extended but gave liberty to apply to the court

should circumstances change.   An application for attachment and

committal to prison against Carrick for alleged failure to comply with disclosure of information in relation to that injunction is still before the court, the judge noted.

The court also heard his lawyers will be applying to the Supreme Court for a priority hearing of the appeal.

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