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Dad who owes almost €10,000 in maintenance arrears is spending more on ‘fancy jeep’ than he is on own child, court hears

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A CONVICTED fraudster who operated an online dating scam is spending more per week on loan repayments for “a fancy jeep” than he is on maintenance payments for his child.

That is according to solicitor Mairead Doyle, who requested that the man make a lump-sum repayment towards the €9,460 in maintenance arrears to his ex-partner for their teenage child.

At the family law court, Ms Doyle stated that the man is paying more each week for his “fancy jeep” – at €84 on loan repayments – than on his €70 weekly maintenance payments.

Ms Doyle stated that the man paid out €29,000 last year on his vehicle when he was in maintenance arrears.

She said to the man: “You knew you were in arrears in maintenance. Why put all that money into a car?”

In response, the man in the witness box said: “I wasn't thinking properly.”

The man said he received financial support from a close family relative to purchase the car, but his relative has since died.

Ms Doyle said that the man should be able pay lump sums off the arrears debt. She stated that he had, in the past, paid a lump sum of thousands of euro to one of his victims “from an online dating scam”.

She told the judge that the father “is a convicted fraudster from an online dating scam he was running” in the past and took thousands of euro from “a vulnerable woman".

The man said he was able to pay back the money to the woman over two to three years with the help of the same relative who assisted with the purchase of the €29,000 vehicle.

He told the court he can no longer work full-time due to health reasons and can only work part-time.

"I wish I could work full-time and I would have it cleared in a very short time,” he said.

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Solicitor for the man, Frank Doherty, said his client is proposing to continue paying maintenance of €70 plus €50 in arrears.

Mr Doherty said that since earlier this year, the man has been paying €70 maintenance and €30 in arrears. The man has paid 18 weeks of €30 to date.

The man told the court that, if allowed to pay off €50 in arrears, he would pay off €2,600 per year. Mr Doherty stated that it would take less than four years to pay off the arrears debt.

The man said that the court has his bank statements and can see he has no money to pay off a lump sum.

Ms Doyle pointed out that he has his own €175,000 home while her own client lives in rented accommodation with their teenage child.

The man told the court the mortgage on his home is currently at €108,000, while €17,000 to €18,000 is outstanding on the car loan.

Judge Mary Larkin ordered that the man commence paying €50 per week off the €9,460 arrears debt and continue to pay €70 in maintenance each week.


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