A man who put 2003 number plates on a 2002 BMW before selling it has been given a suspended jail sentence at Portlaoise District Court.
Padraig King (34), 18 Cathair Na gCapall, Portarlington, was charged with intention to make gain by causing loss to another.
Garda Ken Murphy gave evidence that on February 18, 2017, the injured party bought a car believing it to be a 2003 BMW. On July 11 that year, the car was stopped by the gardaí and discovered to be a 2002 model with 2003 plates.
The accused admitted attaching the plates and said he did it in error. The injured party has been reimbursed.
The accused had 30 previous convictions, 26 for road traffic matters, two for public order, one for the possession of an article and one for the possession of a firearm.
Defence, Ms Louise Troy said the injured party had been paid back €1,700 plus €300 compensation.
She said the accused had advertised a 2002 model and the injured party turned up to purchase it, but there was damage to the boot and the accused said he would fix it. Unfortunately, a 2003 plate was left on the vehicle.
Judge Staines asked Garda Murphy did he have a copy of the Done Deal advert, but the garda replied he didn’t.
He told the court the injured party said the car was advertised as a 2003 model and there was no reference in the injured party’s statement to a 2002 model.
Ms Troy said that the accused had paid additional compensation to the injured party.
She said the accused is a qualified mechanic, but he suffered a serious injury and is not working at the moment.
His circumstances are quite poor and he wished to apologise for his actions, said Ms Troy.
Judge Staines said it was a very serious matter to sell something and pretend it is something else, adding that if it wasn’t for the gardaí checking the car the injured party would never have known.
Saying she was going to mark the seriousness of the crime, Judge Staines imposed a six-month sentence, suspended for one year.