A man who fled from a taxi in Armagh without paying for the fare has been handed a one month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
The defendant, whose address is listed in court papers as Hammersmith Grove, London, was charged with one count of making off without paying. A defence solicitor speaking on his behalf told the court that a guilty plea to the charge was to be entered.
The prosecution outlined that on November 21 last year, police received a report from a taxi driver from Dublin who stated that a male had run off from his taxi without attempting to pay when they arrived at their destination of Ardmore Hill in Armagh.
The driver had agreed to provide the service on the condition that the man made a down payment before setting off. The male paid €40 using a debit card, with this transaction linked to the defendant. The value of the remaining unpaid fare was €226.
Speaking to the defendant, District Judge Magill said: “Mr Gawley, you’ve got a record here and I note that just before this you received a fairly substantial suspended sentence…. because you pleaded guilty – and only because you pleaded guilty – I’m not going to put that into effect.”
He added: “That said, I’m going to impose a short suspended sentence on you today.”
On imposing the sentence of one month, suspended for 12 months, he also ordered the £226 compensation to be paid within 26 weeks.