A 22-year-old man has “hit the top of the tree with his first offence” according to a District Judge.
The defendant, hauled before Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, bought a fake driving licence from the internet, which he subsequently provided to police after his vehicle was seized.
Patrick Dundon, of Newtownabbey, pleaded guilty to using a false instrument with intent during his appearance at court on Wednesday.
It was heard that on September 28 the defendant attended Lurgan station to have his vehicle released, which had been seized the night before for no insurance.
Dundon produced to officers a Republic of Ireland driving licence.
Upon inspection, it was found the licence had no hologram and appeared faded, despite looking new.
Believing it to be fraudulent police ran a check and found that no licence existed in the defendant’s name in the Republic of Ireland.
Defence barrister Conor Lunny branded it a “fairly crude” imitation licence which Dundon had purchased on the internet for around €150.
He added that it was conceded that this was at the “top end” of offences as the defendant had attempted to hand this document to the police.
District Judge Bernie Kelly stated: “He was a long way from his home using a licence from another EU country in an attempt to confuse police”.
Mr Lunny said that despite the aggravating features, in this case, this was the defendant’s first conviction in this jurisdiction.
Judge Kelly commented that she had considered ordering a pre-sentence report but decided against this.
Dundon was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 20 weeks.