Woman told to quit home to pay debts

A MOTHER has spoken of her anger after being told to quit her Ipswich home so £30,000 of debts run up by her former partner can be repaid.Teresa Donohoe bought the house jointly with Iain Kirkup in 1996 and they lived there and raised their children, now aged 10, eight, six and four.

A MOTHER has spoken of her anger after being told to quit her Ipswich home so £30,000 of debts run up by her former partner can be repaid.

Teresa Donohoe bought the house jointly with Iain Kirkup in 1996 and they lived there and raised their children, now aged 10, eight, six and four.

But the couple split in July 2001 and when Mr Kirkup was made bankrupt, the trustee applied to Ipswich County Court for the sale of the property, in Britannia Road.

Mr Kirkup, who was jailed in October for attacking his sister, took no part in the proceedings.


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High Court judge Mr Stuart Isaacs QC yesterday backed the initial decision taken by the county court to order the house to be sold.

Mr Isaacs said in his ruling in London: “It will be cold comfort for the appellant to be told once again that nobody can fail to have sympathy for the position in which, through no fault of theirs, she and her family find themselves.”

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The judge dismissed her appeal but said “common humanity” required him to delay the eviction until April 18 so she could “try to arrange her affairs and make provision for her children”.

Mrs Donohoe, 44, believes she is being punished for her partner's mistakes, claiming he built up a string of debts without her knowledge.

She said: “I knew nothing about the bankruptcy until about two years ago when a letter came through. I tried to get in touch with him and there was talk of someone paying off the original debt but by this time the interest had started to build up.

”I knew nothing about the borrowing. It's frightening how easy it is to get into this situation.”

The health care assistant, who works at Ipswich Hospital, now faces an uncertain future.

She said: “I thought this probably would happen but now it has it's still horrible. I don't what I'll do about finding somewhere to live. I work at the hospital and my kids go to the local school so I want to stay in Ipswich.

“I've thought of nothing else for months but I've had to keep going. There's not else you can do when you've got four little ones.”

Mrs Donohoe's legal team unsuccessfully applied to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

They are currently considering other means of overturning the verdict.

Mrs Donohoe added: “I just can't see how the law can let this happen. I think it's disgraceful.”

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