Falsified motor tax form to save €1,000

A Fisherstown man who falsified information on a motor tax form was last week convicted and fined for what Judge Denis McLoughlin described as a serious offence.

A Fisherstown man who falsified information on a motor tax form was last week convicted and fined for what Judge Denis McLoughlin described as a serious offence.

Before the district court in Portlaoise was David Birmingham (29), with an address listed at Fisherstown, Ballybrittas, who was charged with making gain by deception at the Motor Tax Office, County Hall, Portlaoise, on April 26 this year.

Evidence was given by Inspector Aidan Farrelly.

On April 26, Birmingham supplied false information on a motor tax form. He claimed he had decreased the size of his car’s engine, from 322 cc to 321.5 cc.

This would have given him an annual saving of €1,000 by using a false application.

Birmingham had no previous convictions.

Defence was Ms Josephine Fitzpatrick.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that her client had been very quickly apprehended and had made full admissions.

Birmingham had recently returned home to the area from Holland and was living with his mother. He had committed the offence in an attempt to save his mother some money.

“He’s appalled at his own behaviour,” admitted defence, adding that Birmingham had written a letter of apology to the motor tax office, and he had €600 compensation in court. Defence also handed in a letter from Birmingham’s employer.

Ms Fitzpatrick said that Birmingham had applied for a Canadian visa and a criminal conviction would affect this.

“I regard this as quite a serious offence,” remarked Judge McLoughlin. “He was very happy to do the act in question and was going to defraud the State of €1,000, now you’re asking me to give him a clean slate.

“I can’t give him a clean slate,” the judge continued. “He’s 29 years old, he has to take responsibility for his actions. He will receive a conviction by way of a fine.”

Birmingham was convicted and fined €500.