South East businesswoman sent to jail for contempt of court
A High Court judge has remanded a south-east businesswoman in custody overnight arising out of her failure to comply with an order not to interfere with the receivership of several properties owned by her and her husband.
The order was made by Ms Justice Leonie Reynolds against Wendy Whitty on Thursday afternoon, who the judge said needed to get legal advice so she can understand the seriousness of the situation.
On Wednesday the judge made an order committing Ms Whitty to Mountjoy due to her failure to comply with orders not to interfere with the receivership of several investment properties she and her husband Mr Scot Dyer own in Wexford and Cork.
The judge made the orders after being told Ms Whitty had not complied with undertakings previously given to the court not to interfere with the properties, and that the couple had threatened to evict tenants who co-operate with the receiver.
The committal order was not executed, and on Thursday Ms Whitty attended at the High Court seeking to have the order set aside, and to purge her contempt.
The Judge said Mr Whitty had previously given an undertaking not to interfere with the receivership.
The Judge said Ms Whitty had not complied and in a letter sent to the court, and others including the President of Ireland, politicians and judges, stating the undertaking was given under duress and that "duress voids all contracts."
Ms Whitty "had laughed in the face of the court", the Judge said, adding that clearly there was on-going interference with the receivership, particularly with the tenants of properties based in Wexford.
Ms Whitty, who was not represented by a solicitor or barrister, needed to get the advice of a lawyer and had to furnish them the letter sent to the court, the Judge said.
The Judge said that she had previously told Ms Whitty to get legal advice and she had failed to do. As a result, she was remanding Ms Whitty in prison overnight and would revisit the situation on Friday morning.
Ms Whitty, a mother of four children, said she had not breached the court's orders and had not gone near the properties since giving the undertaking.
Ms Whitty was not present in court on Wednesday when the committal order was made. She said she did not believe she needed to be there.
When asked to give the names of all the persons staying at those properties in Cork she said she did not know the name of everyone living there as she never went near those particular properties.
The order committing Ms Whitty to prison was made on Wednesday after Brian Conroy Bl for the receiver Ms Siobhan O'Dwyer said Ms Whitty and Mr Dyer had not complied with an injunction not to interfere with the properties, including continuing to collect rent from the tenants.
Last month Ms Whitty with an address at Kilbrainey, Gusserane, New Ross, Co Wexford gave undertakings not to impede the receiver.
Ms Whitty also undertook not to hold herself out as the person entitled to get rents from the tenants, communicate with the tenants or enter at the various properties.
Similar proceedings were brought against Mr Dyer, but a letter from his doctor stated that the defendant was too ill to attend court.
The couple's properties are located at Sunset Avenue Riverchapel, Co Wexford, Beales Hill, and Nelson's Terrace, Lower Glanmire Road Cork, Wrixons Lane, St Mary's Road Cork and Myrtlehill Terrace Glanmire Cork.
Injunctions were secured against the couple by the receiver in 2017 due to their alleged ongoing interference with what are investment residential properties.
The injunction was sought after a Polish family living in one of the Cork properties, who had co-operated with the receivership were evicted by Mr Dyer and two male associates in November 2016.
The couple obtained mortgages in respect of the properties from AIB, who appointed Ms O'Dwyer as receiver over the properties in 2015 after the couple failed to satisfy a demand to repay €747,000 alleged owed to the bank.
The couple has at all times disputed the validity of the receiver's appointment.