Family of five to lose their home

A DISTRAUGHT Ipswich mother-of-four today faces her home having to be sold to pay for debts her ex-partner ran up more than six years ago.Teresa Donohoe bought the house, in Britannia Road, jointly with Iain Kirkup in 1996, where they lived and raised their children - now aged ten, eight, six and four.

A DISTRAUGHT Ipswich mother-of-four today faces her home having to be sold to pay for debts her ex-partner ran up more than six years ago.

Teresa Donohoe bought the house, in Britannia Road, jointly with Iain Kirkup in 1996, where they lived and raised their children - now aged ten, eight, six and four.

The couple split up in July 2001 and it was not until after they did that 44-year-old Miss Donohoe learned of the debts amounting to almost £30,000 from credit cards and bank loans.

When Mr Kirkup was made bankrupt, the trustee applied to Ipswich County Court for the sale of the property.

Mr Kirkup, who had been Miss Donohoe's partner for 17 years, took no part in the proceedings when first the county court judge and yesterday deputy High Court judge Mr Stuart Isaacs QC ordered the house to be sold.

Miss Donohoe, who works as a health care assistant in Ipswich, said: “It has been horrendous. Even waiting to find out what is going to happen has been unbearable but at least there is some comfort that a decision has finally been made.

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“I just couldn't believe what I was hearing when I was told my house would actually have to be sold through no fault of my own.

“If I stopped people in the street to tell them my story they wouldn't believe me.

“I don't really know where to go from here. I will talk to my solicitor about the possibility of another appeal but with the two decisions standing as they are it looks as though we will have to leave.”

Mr Isaacs said in his ruling in the London case: "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."

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'.

Nicholas Elcombe, representing Miss Donohoe, unsuccessfully applied to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

But he can apply to the appeal judges themselves to hear the case which he said contained points of "considerable public importance'.

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

N What do you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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