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Man (43) found with five fake driving licences in his name given probation

Garda Stephen O’Toole said the defendant told him he got them many years ago but has never used them.
Fiona MagennisFingal Independent

A 43-year-old man found with five fake driving licences in his name has been given the benefit of the Probation Act at Balbriggan District Court.

Thomas Matthews, St Catherines Way, Rush was charged with having a false instrument on October 13, 2020.

The court heard gardaí carried out a search of his property on the date in question and found five false driving licences in the name of Thomas Matthews.

Garda Stephen O’Toole said the defendant told him he got them many years ago but has never used them.

Defence solicitor Fiona D’Arcy said at the time in question Matthews was in the middle of a marriage separation and couldn’t get a driving licence because he has poor literacy skills and can’t read or write.

She said he had mentioned this to someone who told him he could get him a licence.

Matthews, who works as a labourer, paid €400 and instead of one, he got five.

Ms D’Arcy said Matthews accepts this was completely unacceptable and criminal behaviour and is “ashamed” of what he had done.

He “genuinely regrets” what he did and simply got in “way over his head”.

He subsequently went and got a provisional licence through the correct channels and is hoping to get his full licence soon, she added.

The defendant had gone through a time of extreme stress and worry about the court case, the solicitor said.

After hearing the facts, Judge Deirdre Gearty said what happened seemed like quite an “innocent and foolhardy mistake”. She said Matthews has since rectified the situation by applying for a genuine provisional licence.

The judge said given the situation and the fact the defendant has no previous convictions she would apply the Probation Act in this instance.


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