Wife killer Dermot McArdle has started to pay back more than €200,000 in court costs and compensation to his sons and ex in-laws — at just €50 a month.
He has made three transfers totalling just €150 to a Spanish court from his prison account despite being ordered to pay up €220,000 in compensation and thousands more in court costs when he was sentenced nearly four years ago ahead of a string of appeals.
At the current rate of payment it would take 366 years just to fully compensate his sons, Mark and Paul, and his former in-laws, Ted and Bridie, for the loss of their mum Kelly-Anne Corcoran in line with the court order.
Court officials described his transfers last night as a laughable attempt to show prison authorities he was making an effort to obey the order and pave the way for jail benefits including an early release on licence.
McArdle — who started his two-year jail term for Kelly-Anne’s manslaughter last August, more than 11 years after she died — has no assets in Spain and was declared insolvent there.
But he received life insurance pay-outs lawyers have put at nearly half a million euro and is also understood to own a car and house in Ireland.
A Spanish lawyer acting for Kelly-Anne’s family sent them a legal certificate last month issued by a court in Malaga with the details of McArdle’s conviction.
The certificate will be used in the Irish courts to try to force McArdle to pay court costs including the legal fees of a lawyer hired by Kelly-Anne’s family which the Irishman was ordered to meet when he was sentenced in Spain. The amount of the court costs has never been disclosed.
A source close to the case said: “McArdle’s payments are derisory…
“Court officials aren’t happy but can’t do anything about it because McArdle’s insolvent in Spain.
“He’s certainly not pulling the wool over their eyes.
“They’ve seen this kind of stunt before. Unfortunately, it tends to work with the people who have to decide on McArdle’s prison status.”
Hector Gonzalez, a lawyer who prosecuted McArdle on behalf of Kelly-Anne’s family, confirmed he had sent a certificate containing details of the Irishman’s jail sentence and compensation order to them last month.
Peter Moran, Kelly- Anne’s brother-in-law, said he had not been aware McArdle had started to pay back any of the cash he was ordered to pay.
He said: “All we’ve ever been interested in is seeking justice for Kelly-Anne.”
The dad-of-three is thought to be serving his two-year jail sentence in a prison in Madrid after being transferred from Alhaurin jail near Malaga.
Kelly-Anne, 28, plunged to her death following a struggle at the couple’s fourth-floor hotel room in the upmarket Costa del Sol resort of Marbella on February 11, 2000.
Former factory manager McArdle, from Heynes- town, Dundalk, was convicted of her manslaughter in Oct 2008 — and started his two-year jail sentence last August after losing a string of appeals.
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