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Father of one tried to sell stolen Ford Focus to undercover Gardai

Ford Focus (Stock image)
Ford Focus (Stock image)

A father of one who tried to sell a stolen Ford Focus to undercover gardai has been ordered to carry out community service in lieu of a prison sentence.

Gavin Walsh (26) was caught in a garda sting operation after the car was advertised for sale on Done Deal.

Walsh of Carnlough Road, Cabra, Dublin pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of a stolen Ford Focus in Co Dublin on January 18, 2014.

Garda David Scanlon told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that a Ford Focus had been stolen from the back of a tow truck in Santry on January 15, 2014. Gardai set up a sting operation after it was advertised for sale on Done Deal.

Walsh arrived driving the car and attempted to sell it to the gardai. The car's plates and discs had been cloned. The car was recovered by gardai and returned to the owners.

Gardai also linked Walsh to a second car, an Audi A4, which had been bought from its true owner with a fake bank draft. It was similarly fitted with cloned plates and advertised for sale on Done Deal. This car was also returned to its owners.

Walsh has six previous convictions for minor road traffic and public order offences.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, said the insurance company had been out of pocket by €1,800 and that his client had €1,300 in court to hand over. He said further money could be obtained if required by the court.

He said Walsh had recently become a father and both he and his partner were in employment. Walsh was to become a registered carer for his parents.

Mr Spencer said his client had not been charged with taking the vehicles but accepted he did know they were stolen. He said it had been a “sobering and frightening experience.” He asked the court to accept Walsh had no form in this area and wished to lead a law abiding lifestyle.

Judge Martin Nolan noted that this was not a spontaneous offence and had been planned out. He said Walsh had been in possession of the car with a view to making a profit. He had adjourned sentencing after hearing evidence last month.

Judge Nolan accepted today that a probation report before the court stated that Walsh was suitable for community service before he ordered that he carry out 200 hours community service in lieu of two years in prison.