Dundalk District Court
A Garda has told a contested bail hearing at Dundalk district court last week that he was not satisfied the man he arrested the night before had proven his identity.
The court heard the defendant had been unable to produce photo ID and the house his father had taken the garda to, which was alleged to be the accused man’s home, did not appear to be lived in.
Judge Cephas Power was told last Wednesday that further charges are being considered in the case of Martin Stokes (22) who gave an address at Cedarwood Park, Cox’s Demesne.
He was before the court on a single count of failing to give information as to the identity of the person who was using a vehicle on Bridge Street, Dundalk on November 9th last, whereby the investigating member of An Garda Siochana had reasonable grounds for believing that an offence had been committed under the Road Traffic Act.
The garda who arrested him, gave evidence that the defendant had allegedly told him he did not know his address although it was in Dundalk and he had been living there for six months.
The Garda confirmed to the Defence solicitor that his client had volunteered his name, date of birth and described his place of residence to him and his father had taken the officer to the address in question. However, the garda said it looked like nobody was living there.
The defence solicitor, who argued the charge before the court was a relatively minor offence, said his client lives a transient lifestyle and his father had provided a birth certificate and he has exhausted all avenues open to him at this juncture to prove his identity.
However the garda said the laminated birth cert related to a separate date of birth and identity.
Judge Power said he wished to consider the matter and when the case was recalled later the defence solicitor said €500 in cash was in court and his client had told him he doesn’t need a passport as he travels to England by ferry and as he has always worked the Department of Social Protection has no record of him.
Although the judge said he was satisfied the defendant “is not being upfront”, as the offence on conviction carries a monetary fine and no custodial element, he said he would remand him in custody with consent to bail on a cash lodgement of €1,000.
The case was put back for a week so that documents can be produced in relation to the defendant’s identity. As part of the bail terms he must sign on daily at Dundalk Garda Station, reside at the address given in Cedarwood Park and be contactable by gardaí at all times by mobile phone.
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