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End of the road E-scooter man convicted of driving without licence or insurance slams 'unfair' prosecution

The 42-year-old confirmed to the Sunday World that he has now returned to his native country and cannot afford to return to Ireland to fight his case

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Pedro Jose De Amorim has returned to Brazil

Pedro Jose De Amorim has returned to Brazil

Pedro Jose De Amorim has returned to Brazil

An e-scooter rider who is one of the first people in Ireland to be convicted of driving without a licence or insurance has slammed his prosecution as "unfair."

Brazilian Pedro Jose De Amorim was convicted of the offences at Tullamore District Court earlier this month but Judge Colm Roberts adjourned the imposition of a penalty, noting there was no appearance on behalf of the accused.

The 42-year-old, who we contacted through social media this week, confirmed to the Sunday World that he has now returned to his native country and cannot afford to return to Ireland to fight his case.

"Unfortunately, I won't be there on the day of the hearing because I can't afford to be there and enter [Ireland] illegally," he said.

"I don't think it's fair to have forbidden me to ride my electric scooter, being that in Ireland, there are a lot of electric vehicles and the police don't do anything."

Amorim, of St Beccan's Terrace, Tullamore Road, Kilbeggan, was summonsed to appear before the court arising from an interaction with gardai on the N52 at Arden, Tullamore on May 5.

Garda Pat McGee said in evidence that at 6.10pm on April 5 last year when he was conducting a checkpoint, a gentleman on a 500-watt electric scooter approached.

Judge Roberts said the law is "slightly vague on all that" but he knew there had been convictions.

Garda McGee said that anything with "over a 250-watt motor" is deemed a mechanically propelled vehicle.

Judge Roberts said that it was up to the defendant to make arguments on the matter, not himself or the garda.

Convicting the accused in his absence, the judge told Garda McGee to notify the man of the court's decision by either a registered letter or by personal service and he adjourned consideration of a penalty to February 23 next.

Last year a bill was introduced in the Dáil which seeks to regulate the use of electric scooters and electric bikes.

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An electric scooter is referred to in the draft legislation as a "powered personal transporter" and is defined as a vehicle designed to carry a single person, has a top speed of 25kph and a maximum power output of 250 watts.

The Oireachtas is expected to resume discussion of the bill this year.

Amorim is not the first e-scooter driver to be prosecuted for failing to have insurance when riding an electric scooter.

In April last year, a Polish man who had his e-scooter seized by a garda and subsequently destroyed was convicted of driving the vehicle without insurance.

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Pedro was stopped on his scooter

Pedro was stopped on his scooter

Pedro was stopped on his scooter

At Ennis District Court, Judge Sandra Murphy convicted Michal Blwlus, aged 24, of not having insurance when riding his e-scooter on a footpath in Ennis, Co Clare, during the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

Judge Murphy fined Mr Blwlus, with an address of Collins Park, Kilrush Rd, Ennis, €200 but said that she wouldn't impose a road ban because of the unique circumstances and mitigating factors in the case.

Judge Murphy stated: "Every single mechanically propelled vehicle is required to have insurance and cannot and should not be on the road unless it has insurance."

Mr Blwlus had his €500 e-scooter destroyed after he could not afford the €1,200 release bill from a Garda compound following its seizure.

Billy Loughnane, for Mr Blwlus, told the court he found it "very sad" that the e-scooter had to be destroyed "or that it was taken from him at all."

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