Fake taxi driver busted following Dublin Airport sting

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The man was prosecuted after driving an undercover garda and an NTA agent to Dublin Airport
The man was prosecuted after driving an undercover garda and an NTA agent to Dublin Airport

A construction worker has been ordered to pay €400 after he was caught running an unlawful taxi service.

Robert Gronczewski, 31, with an address at Monastery Lawns, Clondalkin, Dublin 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 October 7 last.

He was prosecuted following a joint investigation involving gardai and the National Transport Authority (NTA), Judge John Brennan was told.

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

On the evening of October 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 noted he is a hard-working man who was taking the case seriously and he accepted the man would not come to the court's attention again. He said he would impose the Probation Act, sparing him a criminal record, if he donated €200 to Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and paid €200 in costs.

The case was adjourned until a date in June, with the judge warning that he would impose €500 in fines and a higher costs order if Gronczewski did not comply.