24 May 2022

Dundalk court: Denied possessing cloned reg plates

Dundalk court: Denied possessing cloned reg plates

A self-employed butcher who was prosecuted after being found in a van which was allegedly involved in a credit card scam which defrauded a Co Armagh meat company, had two charges against him dismissed, following a contested hearing at
Dundalk District Court last week.

Brian McNamee (34) Cregganduff Road, Crossmaglen had denied possessing cloned registration plates and custody of a false instrument relating to a separate number plate, at Lisheen Park, Knockbridge, Dundalk on September 22nd 2020.

Judge Alan Mitchell heard last Wednesday how Universal Meat Company (UMC) in Portadown had received three phone orders from a purported new customer, who had initially made payment using two credit cards - and one of the account owners reported a fraudulent payment, after the first two orders worth £7,500 were delivered.

The PSNI was notified when a third order was placed.

An officer from Lurgan C.I.D gave evidence of the white Ford Transit that had collected the first two orders being captured on CCTV and that a courier had collected the third consignment of meat which had a delivery address at Lisheen Park, Knockbridge.

While the payments were charged back to the card holders, the court heard the company was at a loss.

Gardaí in Dundalk were notified and attended Knockbridge where they spoke to the defendant who said he was to meet a man, whose name the orders had been placed under.

The van was seized and the number plates at the centre of the prosecution were recovered along with a mobile phone from the driver's side of the van, which had made a number of calls to the meat company.

UMC's product catalogue was also recovered, along with an envelope with the name of the man who Brian McNamee had claimed he was due to meet.

At the end of the Prosecution's case, the Defence barrister successfully argued there was no evidence of a number plate that was found behind the back passenger seat, being a false instrument, and there was no evidence produced to prove the two other plates were cloned.

However, Mr. McNamee was convicted of having no insurance and was fined €400 and disqualified from driving for two years.

At the request of the Defence Judge Mitchell fixed recognizance in the event of an appeal of €1,000 with €500 in cash to be lodged.

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