A resident of the direct provision centre in Laois has been given the benefit of the probation act for producing a false driving licence to the gardaí.
Secoudo Idara (29), the Montague Hotel, was charged with having a false licence at Portlaoise Courthouse, on July 21 this year.
Inspector Oliver Baker gave evidence that the accused was observed driving at the Ridge Road, Portlaoise, on September 18, 2015, where he drove across a mini-roundabout.
He was signalled to stop by the gardaí and found to have no insurance or driving licence.
Insp Baker said that the accused claimed he had a French driving licence, which he produced to the gardaí at Portlaoise Courthouse. However, the gardaí got suspicious of the authenticity of the licence as it lacked any security features.
Defence, Ms Thomasina Connell said her client genuinely felt it had been a genuine document, but he had been reckless.
She told the court that Idara got the licence from a friend in France, which had been a very stupid thing to do.
Defence explained that the accused, who was originally from Guinea, was residing at the direct provision centre and is currently applying for citizenship.
Judge Catherine Staines told the accused: “You have to earn a driving licence, you don’t get it from a friend. I don’t accept you thought it was genuine.”
Judge Staines applied the probation act, section 1.1.