herald

Saturday 19 August 2017

Soup kitchen operator spared driving ban due to 'good work'

Darren Bradley was recognised for helping the homeless
Darren Bradley was recognised for helping the homeless

The operator of a mobile soup kitchen for the homeless has been convicted and fined for driving without insurance after gardai stopped him in Dublin city centre.

Darren Bradley (30) claimed he was only test driving the new van at the time.

However, a court heard it had come into his ownership days earlier.

Bradley, of The Swift, Tassa- gard Green, Saggart, was fined a total of €500 over the incident, as well as two other counts of having no road tax.

Judge Gerard Jones spared him a driving ban because of the "good work" he is doing.

Bradley admitted having no road tax but denied driving without insurance after he was stopped at Westmoreland Street on October 11, 2015.

At Dublin District Court, defence solicitor Donal Quigley said Bradley was not the owner of the vehicle on the day and was simply test driving it.

He had valid insurance for a different van.

Error

Bradley had become the registered owner of the new van on October 9, a garda said.

Mr Quigley argued that there was an error in the records that showed the van was his.

The defendant said he had gone to buy a van and he "knew the fella, so he said just take it for a day's trial".

"I was doing a sleep-out outside the Dail for the homeless," he said. "I went back the next day to buy the van."

Under cross-examination, Bradley said he did not remember the exact date he bought the van.

He said he rang his insurance company and they switched his policy over.

The prosecuting garda said that, according to the motor tax office in Shannon, Bradley had come into ownership of the van on October 9 and the office would have to have had the log book at that time.

Gda Denis Ellard put it to him that he had "made up this story to get around the fact that you were not insured". He denied this.

Bradley was "very committed to the welfare of the homeless in Dublin", Mr Quigley said.

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