Senator threatens with injunction, landlady he owes $19,000
An elderly woman broke down in tears yesterday as she told a court of the stress caused by a senator’s repeated refusal to hand over $19,000 in unpaid rent.
Margaret Harvey, who is in her 70s, told the Supreme Court that Curtis Richardson, a Progressive Labour Party member of the Upper House and the junior national security minister, had warned her that his “affiliation” would mean she would not win in legal proceedings.
Ms Harvey, who had been Mr Richardson’s landlady, said he had shown her “rudeness and disrespect”.
Puisne Judge Shade Subair Williams highlighted how “visibly upset” the senior citizen appeared as she gave evidence.
Ms Harvey told the court of the distress the legal proceedings had caused her.
She said: “Mr Richardson threatened to take a restraining order against me for coming on my property – an injunction.
“And then he said take me to court, we are going to lose anyway … because the court will be on his side because of his affiliation.
“All he can say when we go to court is ‘oh, I’ve got no money, somebody’s paying my electrical bill, somebody is feeding me, somebody is giving me money for groceries’.
“Mr Richardson has been working as a taxi driver – all last week we saw him about in a taxi.“
Mr Richardson, also the junior transport minister and a taxi driver, said he did not contest he owed $19,023 in arrears and offered to pay $100 a month to clear the debt.
Magistrate’s Court earlier ruled that Mr Richardson should pay $325 a month, but the Harvey family said that Mr Richardson had paid only $1,400 since September 2020 and that Financial Assistance had paid $1,161 a month for him for three months that year.
Mr Richardson asked for a Supreme Court hearing to discuss means-test orders.
The hearing was part of a legal dispute over the arrears that started in 2020.