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Motorists accused of dodging M50 tolls handed fines totalling €100,000

Dublin Live logo Dublin Live 15/04/2019 Tom Tuite
M50 motorway, Co Dublin, Ireland © Getty M50 motorway, Co Dublin, Ireland

Ten motorists accused of dodging M50 tolls were hit with fines totalling almost €100,000 yesterday.

The penalties ranging from €3,000 to €22,000 were handed down by Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court.

One motorist, who allegedly used Ireland’s busiest motorway 800 times without paying, had a bench warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to for his trial.

M50 motorway © Getty M50 motorway  He is contesting his case and has instructed a solicitor to defend him.

In all the prosecutions which resulted in €97,000 in fines yesterday, none of the summonsed drivers came to court. Cases against them went ahead in their absence. Judge Halpin said: “The people who disregard it totally are fined heaviest.

a drawing of a face: M50 stock image © An Garda Siochana M50 stock image “If people want to use certain roads they have to pay; if they don’t, the penalties are quite high.”

In one case he adjourned he granted legal aid and said this was due to the seriousness of the offence.

 The barrier-free toll motorway is operated by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII). Each case finalised yesterday featured five sample counts and photo evidence of how many times the defendants’ vehicles had been detected using the motorway without paying.

Related gallery: The worst traffic jams in history [GES] 

The court heard the prosecution evidence showed the passage of the vehicles, mostly private cars, on the motorway on dates in May, August, October and November last year, as well as proof of ownership.

Owners have six months to pay the fines and up to €350 in costs.

  M50 motorway, Co Dublin, Ireland M50 motorway, Co Dublin, Ireland

Prosecutor Thomas Rice said a TII official had certificates of ownership as well as images of the vehicles passing the toll gantry on the M50.

The court can impose fines of up to €5,000 per charge as well as a sentence of up to six months.

Nicole Spellman, of Kilcarrig Green, Fettercairn, Tallaght, Dublin was fined €22,000, the highest amount in the list of cases yesterday.

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