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Dil-don't Father spent over €400 in online sex shop while falling behind on child maintenance

You tell me how you can come in here and tell me that if you are on €203 a week and you are spending €139 and another €139 on a fiddlydyedoe?”

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A judge has lashed out at a father for spending over €400 in an online sex shop while falling behind in maintenance payments for his young son.

At the Family Law Court, Judge Mary Larkin told the man “you have an absolute cheek coming in here expecting me to believe what you are saying because I don’t believe a word of it”.

The man had told Judge Larkin that he had fallen behind in maintenance payments because he was “struggling” on his weekly social welfare payment of €203 and had no other income.

However, solicitor Mairéad Doyle, for the mother, produced in court bank statement details of over €400 the man has spent in four separate payments between March and July to an online sex shop called Love Honey.

Judge Larkin told the man: “You wouldn’t be spending over half your money on a fiddlydyedoe if you had only €203 a week.”

She added: “You tell me how you can come in here and tell me that if you are on €203 a week and you are spending €139 and another €139 on a fiddlydyedoe?”

In response, the man said: “It was a mistake, Judge.”

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.”

She said that anyone on €200 a week would be worried about how much they spend on food, ESB and all the other bills.

She said: “You would not be paying that kind of money for an absolute nonsense.”

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.”

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The maintenance order in place is that the man pays €45 towards his son, a primary school aged child, per week but he is paying only €25 at present.

Judge Larkin said she was raising the maintenance payment to €80 per week and all arrears are to be paid by October 7.

She said 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 said: “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.”

She said the man, who is aged in his 40s, was very good at collecting cash and is very good with money.

She said he is “an able hard working man and has raised substantial sums of money to build two houses”.

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 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 said the payments to Love Honey 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 by 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 broke, 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.”

Ms Doyle said the man has had a substantial cash business and has no mortgage on two houses he owns that he built with cash.

Ms Doyle told him: “You are lying through your teeth - you think you are making fools of all of us but you are not.”

Asked why he has allowed maintenance arrears of €302 to build up, the man 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 said the man was “very loose and fast with the truth” after hearing evidence that his ex-partner only learned of the existence of a child he had from a previous relationship three days after they broke up.

Judge Larkin said: “Talk about the right hand not knowing what your left hand is going? You lived with this woman for years and you don’t tell her that you have another child?”

The court was told that the man has been making payments of €12.70 a week towards the maintenance of his other child for the past 18 to 19 years and gave the child money on several occasions.

The mother told the court said that she suffers from complex PTSD and her ex "is a trigger”.

She said he has a safe in his house where he deposits the cash from his cash businesses.

Solicitor Colum Doherty, for the father, said his client does not operate on the black market.

The woman said her ex-partner videos her at the handover of their child and Judge Larkin ordered that all video-recording is to stop.

She described the recording as “intimidation”.

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