A father slammed by a judge for spending over €400 on ‘fiddlydyedoes’ from online sex shop, Love Honey, while falling behind in maintenance payments towards his young son is contesting a court order that he pay increased maintenance payments.
Solicitor for the man, Colum Doherty, told Judge Mary Larkin that her order that his client make increased maintenance payments of €80 per week is now under appeal to the circuit court.
Mr Doherty made his comment at the Family Law District Court after a fresh maintenance arrears summons was brought against his client demanding that the father pay new arrears of €487.
In response to the new maintenance summons brought by the mother of the young boy, Judge Larkin commented that the man is ignoring the order of the court.
Judge Larkin said that she could not deal with the new maintenance summons concerning the €487 against the man until her court order under appeal at the Circuit Court is dealt with. Mr Doherty said that the appeal concerning the €80 a week maintenance order is due before the Circuit Court in March.
Judge Larkin made her order in the family law district court last September after hearing that the man was flouting the then €45 maintenance order by paying only €25 per week towards the primary school-going boy.
Solicitor for the mother, Mairead Doyle, said on Friday: “My client is very disappointed that the maintenance payments are not being made as directed by the court and she wants both the appeal and the arrears cases concluded as soon as possible."
In court previously, Judge Larkin lashed out at the father after Ms Doyle produced in court bank statement details of over €400 the man had spent in four separate payments between March and July 2021 to online sex shop ‘Love Honey’.
The man - who owns two homes with no mortgages attached - told the court that he fell behind in maintenance payments because he was "struggling" on his weekly social welfare payment of €203 and had no other income.
In response, Judge Larkin said:
In response, the man said: “It was a mistake judge.” In reply, Judge Larkin told him: “No. It wasn’t a mistake because you didn’t have one bother with money because otherwise you wouldn’t have spent the money.”
Judge Larkin asked the man: “How can you afford to spend that kind of recreational money when you have €203 to live off?” In reply, the man said: “I can’t afford it judge.” Judge Larkin said that she was satisfied that the man “is extremely well off” after hearing evidence that he is the owner of two houses with no mortgages and has had cash businesses.
Judge Larkin stated: “He obviously can buy 'diddlydodas' or whatever you want to call those things whenever he wants without any regard to the cost or the expense which is obviously not the activity of a man who is on €203 a week.” Ms Doyle of Shannon-based legal firm, Carmody and Co Solicitors, explained to Judge Larkin that 'Love Honey’ “is a website for buying sex toys and general erotica”.
Ms Doyle said that bank statements show that the man made two separate payments of €139 each to Love Honey in March and another payment of €98.60 in June along with a fourth payment to bring the total up to over €400.
Ms Doyle stated that the ‘Love Honey’ payments were made during a period when he gave her client €8 in one week for maintenance and then decided that he wasn’t going to abide to a maintenance court order and gave nothing and then decided to pay over €25 to her.
Ms Doyle told the man: “At the same time, you were able to afford to spend over €400 on this kind of rubbish. In June when he was claiming to be badly broken, he was still managing to pay €100 to ‘Love Honey’ to entertain himself.” Asked to explain the spend on ‘Love Honey’ by Judge Larkin, the man replied from the witness box: ‘Judge, I have a social life”.
Asked why he has allowed maintenance arrears of €302 to build up, the man - aged in his 40s - replied: “I am struggling at the moment.” In response, Ms Doyle stated: “You weren’t struggling in June when you were paying €100 into ‘Love Honey’.
"You weren’t struggling then were you?” Judge Larkin adjourned the new maintenance summons concerning the €487 to the family law district court to April.