A COUNTY Limerick businessman who drove at customs officers as they tried to seize an unregistered vehicle from him was fined a total of €5,000.
Kieran Carey, aged 34, of Brook House, Kilpeacon, Crecora pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered vehicle and obstructing two customs officers at Fenton’s Yard, Raheen on February 6, 2014.
Solicitor Michelle Madden, prosecuting, said the defendant had purchased a Audi A7 in Northern Ireland in November 2013 and that he had brought it to Limerick around two weeks later.
However, she said he had not registered the vehicle and had not paid the appropriate VRT.
The retail value of the car at the time, she said, was €41,277 meaning the VRT owed was €7,842.
Judge Mary Larkin was told that after being informed the car was being seized, Mr Carey refused to hand over the keys to the customs officers.
The impasse continued for over an hour with Mr Carey contacting an off-duty garda during that time in an effort to resolve the matter.
Ms Madden said at one point, while both customs officers were on the phone to colleagues, the defendant ran from his business premises to the car, got in and drove off pushing one of the customs officers “out of the way” with the car, which was never recovered.
Solicitor John Casey, defending, said his client made full admissions when he presented himself to gardai a number of months later.
He said on the date of the incident, Mr Carey had concerns that the customs officers were not legitimate and that he was “going to become the victim of a fraud”.
He said his client had offered to pay the outstanding VRT by cheque but was informed it was not possible to do so.
Urging Judge Larkin not to jail his client he said he is the proprietor of a business which would close if he went to prison. “People depend on him,” he said.
Judge Larkin imposed fines of €2,500 in relation to each of the offences.