An Ardara man who forged an insurance disc by altering the dates from 2014 to 2017 via photo shop, and also having a false tax disc, was told he now had a conviction under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act.
29-year-old Bruce Vial, Kentucky, Ardara pleaded guilty to a total of nine charges that occurred at the Diamond Ardara on November 12 last year and at West End, Ardara on February 14.
He pleaded guilty to driving with no insurance, two counts of using false instruments, two counts of creating false instruments, having no road tax and failing to produce insurance at the Diamond Ardara on November 12 last year. He also pleaded guilty to driving with no insurance and failing to produce insurance on last February 14.
The court heard that Garda Conry stopped the defendant on November 12 last year and spotted the false discs. The defendant made a brief cautioned statement that said he made up the false discs via photo shop.
He had a learner permit but had no insurance, had made the changes of his own free will and had not done it for anyone else. The defendant also admitted changed the date from 2014 to 2017 on the insurance disc. And he admitted having no insurance when stopped at West End Ardara on February 14.
Judge Alan Mitchell said there was a “sinister element” in the way the defendant had deliberately prepared documents.
Defence solicitor Patsy Gallagher said the matters before the court came at a difficult time in the defendant’s life when finance was scarce. On the second occasion he took a chance and was stopped by a local garda. His client had made an early plea and dealt with the matter swiftly. The solicitor asked the court to consider Probation and the defendant had no previous convictions.
Judge Alan Mitchell said 15 per cent of all drivers in this country are not insured - “People think they can take chances”. This caused the insurance premiums for the rest of the population to rise.
Judge Mitchell convicted and fined the defendant E300 and banned him from driving for three months for having no insurance on November 12 last year, and took the failure to produce into consideration. He took into account all the charges relating to custody of a false instrument and using a false instrument. The judge fined the defendant E100 for having no road tax. The judge took into account the failure to produce insurance on February 14 last.
He jailed the defendant for three months suspended for 18 months for the second offence of having no insurance and fined him E400. He also bound him to keep the peace on his own bond of E100. The defendant was banned from driving for four years concurrent to the first driving ban. The judge asked the gardai to record the suspended jail sentence on the Pulse system.
“I am not impressed”, said the judge. “You obviously did not learn your lesson the first time,” and added that the defendant was “lucky you are not going to jail” but your “previous clear record saves you”.
Judge Mitchell said: “You came in here with no criminal record and you now have a conviction under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act”.