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Motorcyclist made ‘stupid decision’ to alter licence plate with black tape

He admitted to altering the registration as the motorcycle was not taxed and did not have a valid MOT

An uninsured motorcyclist who tried to evade detection by police by altering his licence plate with black tape has been handed nine penalty points.

The 50-year-old’s solicitor told court the defendant had taken a chance in order to have work carried out so the vehicle could pass the MOT.

Samuel Cairns, of William Street, Donaghcloney, pleaded guilty to no vehicle test certificate, using a vehicle without insurance and fraudulent use of a registration mark at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 9, police observed the defendant on a Honda motorcycle on the Belfast Road, Dollingstown.

Checks of the licence plate on the vehicle showed no hits so officers chose to pull Cairns over.

Upon inspection, police found that the third, fourth and fifth digit of the plate had been altered using black tape.

The defendant admitted to altering the registration as the motorcycle was not taxed and did not have a valid MOT.

It was later established that the vehicle was not subject to an active insurance policy.

Defence solicitor Kevin McCamley stated: “This was a guilty plea at the first opportunity. By his own admission Mr Cairns took a chance.

“He purchased the motorcycle on March 2, it had been off the road for a year, he took a chance driving it to a garage to have work carried out on it.”

He added: “This was a stupid decision. The vehicle did pass the MOT on April 11 and was taxed on the same date.

“He does work part time. He has to travel from Donaghcloney to Banbridge for this using the motorcycle to do this.”

District Judge Mark McGarrity said: “His licence is in jeopardy. Mr Cairns, you are entitled credit for your early plea but these are serious matters to not have insurance and try to evade detection by altering registration marks.”

Cairns was handed nine penalty points and was ordered to pay a fine of £600, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 26 weeks.

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