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Bogus taxi driver spared conviction and hefty fine

Bogus taxi driver spared conviction and hefty fine

A CONSTRUCTION worker caught running a bogus taxi service has been spared a criminal record.

Robert Gronczewski, 31, with an address at Monastery Lawns, Clondalkin, D.22, avoided fines of up to €10,000 after he pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to two counts of breaching the Taxi Regulation Act on Oct. 7 last.

He was prosecuted following a joint investigation involving Gardai and the National Transport Authority (NTA), Judge John Brennan was told. The judge noted he complied with an order made in April to donate €200 to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and paid €200 in prosecution costs. The Probation Act was applied.

NTA compliance officer Anthony Carey told the court that the investigation came after he observed an advert on a website.

On the evening of Oct. 7 last, he and an undercover garda were collected by Gronczewski at the Naas Road, in Dublin. They were taken to Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport.

Mr Carey asked how much he owed and Gronczewski told him the charge was €25 which was handed over. Mr Carey identified himself and cautioned the driver who did not have a small public service vehicle (PSV) licence.

The accused told him, “I just put the ad, I don’t know how to explain”. Mr Carey agreed Gronczewski was co-operative and had no prior criminal convictions.

In pleas for leniency, the defence said the accused did not know the law. The court heard he is from Poland but working in Dublin in construction.

However, he is sending money back to Poland to help his mother-in-law who is recovering from a seriousness illness.

Each charge before the court carried fines of up to €5,000.

Judge Brennan had noted he is a hard-working man who was taking the case seriously and would not come to the court’s attention again.