Man spared jail for operating fake taxi

File photo

A Dublin man, who has never had a full driver's licence, has been spared a jail sentence for fraudulently operating a taxi using forged documentation.

David Slight, 49, from Pinebrook Vale, Huntstown, was fined €250 and given a two-year road ban after he pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to offences under the Road Traffic Act and the Theft and Fraud Act.

He admitted he did not have a driver's licence or motor insurance, and that he made a false declaration to an insurance company.

He also owned up to using counterfeit public service vehicle (PSV) discs on his car after he was caught picking up fares, on Main Street, in Swords, north Dublin, on July 22, 2012.

In evidence, Garda Paul Doona told the court he saw three people hailing a taxi driven by Slight. Gda Doona stopped the 01-registered car and spoke to him.

Enquires were carried out and the taxi regulator confirmed that Slight did not have a PSV licence Gda Doona said it was also established that Slight, “has never held a full driving licence in this country, the last licence he had was a provisional, in 1985.”

Slight had stated in his declaration to an insurance company that he had a full licence, the court also heard. Gda Doona had said that the vehicle's insurance would not have covered the accused, and it was not meant for a taxi.

The PSV discs at the rear and front of the car were “seized, examined, and found to be counterfeit,” the court also heard.

He had two prior convictions under Section 49 of the Road Traffic Act which is for driving while intoxicated.

Pleading for leniency, Slight's barrister Rory Staines told Judge Patrick Clyne that his client had personal and health problems at the time and had to pay his mortgage. Gda Doona also agreed with the defence that Slight has not been driving since he was caught.

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