A car engine dealer purchased three engines while in hospital that turned out to be stolen. Stefan Cirpaci, a 31 year-old Romanian national with an address at Maple Close, Avenue Road, Dundalk was recuperating at the time from a serious accident that occurred when a car he was fixing collapsed and his injuries included a perforated liver.
He spent two months as a result in hospital during which he received a phone call to purchase engines, which he foolishly bought and two were stolen, his solicitor told Ardee District Court
Cirpaci was charged with handling stolen property on December 3rd last and another married man Nicolaie Gruia (37) with an address also in Dundalk at Wolfe Tone Terrace with possession of the engines. He was described as an innocent party getting a free trip to Romania with a clear record . He was given the benefit of the Probation Act.
Cirpaci admitted the offence, and tendered €1,000 as compensation to the owners of the two engines. Judge Patrick McMahon convicted and fined him €500, admitting to a “funny feeling about the phone call. How does someone get a phone number to ring you in hospital?”
The defence solicitor said that Mr Cirpaci was well known in the trade. He was from Romania who was resident in Ireland for five years. He started a business importing and exporting engines to Romania.
He usually transported the engines himself but couldn’t on this occasion because of his injuries. The matter was four times in court and the defendant travelled from Romania each time.
Inspector Paul Kiernan told that on December 3rd last a motor van was stopped at Charleville Ardee and searched and contained a number of engines. Subsequent enquiries revealed that two of the engines were stolen.
Stefan Cirpaci presented himself at Carrickmacross Garda Station on January 11th last. He said he purchased the engines from an unknown man for €1,800 without seeing them to bring them to Romania. He had 13 road traffic related convictions.