Wife killer Dermot McArdle’s hopes of an early jail release have been dealt a blow after court officials slammed his compensation payments.
The Irishman was criticised over the paltry payments to his late wife’s parents and children in a report to prison chiefs submitted by the Spanish court that jailed him.
Dad-of-three McArdle is still paying just €50 a month despite being ordered to pay €220,000 compensation and thousands more in court costs when convicted of manslaughter more than four years ago.
Court officials in Malaga blasted the payments as “derisory” and insisted they never sanctioned the amounts in their report to Spain’s Prison Service.
This could harm McArdle’s chances of regaining his freedom early.
He is 16 months into his two-year sentence for the February 2000 manslaughter of Kellyann Corcoran.
A source close to the case said: “Jail benefits including early releases are linked to things like prisoner repayments of compensation to their victims. Tactics used like prisoners include fractioned payments to try to convince jail chiefs they are making an effort to honour the court order.
“But the report on McArdle is so negative it may convince prison authorities he is just trying to pull the wool over their eyes. It certainly won’t do his hopes of an early release on licence any good.”
Kellyann, 28, plunged to her death following a struggle at the couple’s fourth-floor hotel room in Marbella on Feb 11, 2000.
McArdle, from Heynestown, Dundalk, Co Louth, was convicted of her manslaughter in October 2008 — and started his two-year jail sentence in Aug 2011 after losing a string of appeals against his conviction and sentence.
He was ordered to pay €60,000 each to his two sons, Mark and Paul, for the loss of their mother — and to give €100,000 to her parents Ted and Bridie.
A Spanish lawyer said in court at McArdle’s trial that he had received nearly €500,000 in a life insurance payout following his wife’s death. At his current rate of payment he would take 366 years just to fully compensate his sons and former in-laws.
Court officials have said they will wait until McArdle has made several of his €50 payments before transferring the first lump sum to his victim’s relatives.
In Spain prisoners normally have to serve three quarters of their sentence before they can qualify for early release.
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