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Dodging taxi fare catches up with man two years on as he is fined and told to pay up

Defendant got a taxi from Belfast in November 2017 and failed to pay the £56 fare which landed him before the court

A Craigavon man who failed to pay for a £56 taxi fare over two years ago has been forced to pay it back and then some.

The district judge told the 20-year-old: “This was a substantial taxi fare. Clearly you knew you were not going to pay for it when you got in.”

John Ward, of Ardowen, Monbrief, pleaded guilty to making off without paying at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that the injured party, a self-employed taxi driver from Belfast, told police that he had picked the defendant up in Belfast on November 12, 2017, at 5.43am.

He stated Ward had told him he did not have money on him for the fare but would get the money from his house and, feeling sorry for the defendant, the taxi driver accepted this.

Upon arrival in Craigavon, Ward exited the vehicle and made no effort to pay the £56 fare.

The defendant told the injured party that he required more time to get the money and the taxi driver agreed to this.

However, by December 12 Ward had still made no payment and at this point police were contacted.

Officers attempted to speak to the defendant but were unable to make contact with him.

District Judge Amanda Brady stated: “Given that this is over two years old I am minded to give a monetary penalty.

“This was a substantial taxi fare. Clearly you knew you were not going to pay for it when you got in.”

Ward was ordered to pay a fine of £100 and compensation of £56, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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