Judge to consider community service for bogus taxi driver

The man was pulled over by gardaí on Bride Street in Dublin

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File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

A judge has said she will consider community service for a bogus taxi driver, who picked up a woman in Dublin without having insurance or a licence.

Trevor Johnson of Gortmore Avenue, Finglas in Dublin 11 told gardaí he took a chance because of his "dire financial situation".

Garda Damien Duffy pulled over a '07' silver Skoda taxi on Bride Street in Dublin at around 10.30pm on March 4th because he noticed it was missing certain discs on its windscreens.

Mr Johnson told him he had been a legitimate taxi driver up until last year, when he was put off the road for driving without insurance.

The court heard a young woman, who was sitting in the back, was not aware he was a bogus taxi driver.

Judge Gráinne O'Neill asked if there was something else at play, but Garda Duffy said he made extensive inquiries and accepted Mr Johnson's financial circumstances as the sole reason for picking up the fare.

The court heard the father-of-one lost his job as a plumber in 2007 and fell into mortgage arrears. He said he was desperate and made a silly decision.

He has been fined €600 and disqualified from driving for four years.

The 38-year-old will also avoid a three-month prison sentence if he is considered suitable for 100 hours of community service.

Judge Gráinne O’Neill put sentencing back until May to see if he’s suitable for community service.