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21 Jan 2022

Dundalk court: Bench warrant issued

Dundalk court: Bench warrant issued

Dundalk courthouse

A bench warrant was issued at Dundalk district court last week for 22 year old man who the court was told had repeatedly failed to provide proof of his identity to gardai.

The solicitor representing Martin Stokes with an address at Cedarwood Park, Cox’s Demesne told the court his client was not present, having tested positive for Covid. The defendant was originally 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.

As part of bail terms imposed last month, 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.

He was subsequently charged with driving without insurance or a driving licence and failing to produce both documents.

The defendant told a previous sitting that his only photo ID was a gym pass, and he claimed that his parents had gone to Belfast to get his birth cert and said they had sent off for his passport, although the court heard no such application was recorded at Dundalk Garda Station.

After hearing evidence of breaches of his bail conditions, Judge Brendan O'Reilly had previously warned Mr. Stokes that they are not "a la carte" and he must comply with all of the bail terms.

Last week the court presenter Sgt. Laura Blanch explained to a different judge, Judge John Brennan, that she had still to see proof of the defendant's identity and he had been provided ample opportunity to do so.

The Defence solicitor said his client was not present and he had instructions on the last date that he had tested positive for Covid, but Sgt. Blanch said no proof of that had been produced. Judge Brennan said a bench warrant was appropriate.

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