A man who claimed he did not know his tax disc was forged has been fined at Donegal District Court but has avoided a more serious sentence.
Marek Kaczynski (46) of Beirnes Lane, Cortober, Carrick-on-Shannon, Roscommon appeared before Donegal District Court on Wednesday. The court which was sitting in Ballyshannon Courthouse due to Circuit Court in Donegal Town was presided over by visiting Judge John King.
The defendant faced a charge of having a false tax disc when stopped by gardaí at Carrick West, Laghey on September 10.
Mr Kaczynski had previously failed to appear in court in relation to the charge. He was arrested by arrangement on foot of a bench warrant ahead of Wednesday’s court sitting. The defendant told the court that he did not turn up last time because he was changing job and had moved address.
Judge King replied that it was not much of an excuse.
Garda Pauline O’Connor of Donegal Town Garda Station gave evidence that she had been conducting a check point on the date in question. She stopped a Ford Transit and found the tax had expired by several months. A check in the garda Pulse system revealed that the tax disc related to a Renault Megane registered to a woman in Buncrana. The van was seized and taken to Donegal Town Garda Station.
Garda O’Connor said that after caution the defendant told her he had bought the van in Kildare the previous March. He said the tax disc had been on it at the time.
Solicitor Jim Corbett said his client was an electrician who had purchased the van for work.
“He understood when he was buying the van that he was buying it taxed,” said Mr Corbett. “He is a Polish national. It is no excuse but it was a mistake in translation.”
The solicitor appealed to Judge King to deal with the matter by way of a fine. He said the defendant had no previous convictions and had not come to the attention of gardaí either before or since.
The court heard that the van had been fully back-taxed.
Judge King describe the tax disc as ‘a complete false instrument, i.e generated by someone else.'
However he said he would give the defendant the benefit of the doubt and imposed a fine of €300.

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