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Middletown man who sold fireworks to plain clothed officers without checking for licence fined £500

Court heard he had been cautioned last season for the same offence

fireworks

A Middletown man who failed to check for licences of two plain clothed police officers before selling them fireworks has been ordered to pay a fine of £500.

Sentencing the 60-year-old, the deputy district judge said: “I do accept this is only on a seasonal basis, it goes against him as he was cautioned last season for the same offence.”

Justin Francis Feeney, of Monaghan Road, had a plea of guilty entered on his behalf to selling fireworks without production of a licence at Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.

Prosecution outlined that on October 20, two plain clothed police officers attended a premises belonging to the defendant on the Monaghan Road, Middletown.

They purchased some F2 type fireworks from Feeney and he did not ask to check if either officer had a licence.

Uniformed officers later attended and spoke to the defendant about the failed test purchase.

During interview, Feeney made no comment but he later expressed remorse for his actions.

Defence solicitor Jarlath Fields stated that his client worked between 60 and 70 hours a week as a self-employed mechanic, with the selling of fireworks being a “seasonal” occupation.

He said: “He was very busy trying to get cars ready for MOTs. These two were well dressed, well spoken and he foolishly did not check for licences.”

However, Mr Fields added that he did give the two men “safety advice” regarding the fireworks in question.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said: “He is entitled to credit for his plea of guilty. If I do accept this is only on a seasonal basis, it also goes against him as he was cautioned last season for the same offence.”

Feeney was ordered to pay a fine of £500, along with the offender’s levy of £15, within 12 weeks.

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