herald

Wednesday 19 December 2018

OAP had untaxed wine and cigarettes worth €3k for sale

Thomas McLoughlin enjoyed the ‘social aspect’ of his crime. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Thomas McLoughlin enjoyed the ‘social aspect’ of his crime. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

A senior citizen who sold illegal tobacco products and wine from his Dublin home was trying to supplement his pension, a court has heard.

Thomas McLoughlin (68) also enjoyed the "social aspect" of people calling to his house.

Judge David McHugh sentenced McLoughlin to four months in prison.

The defendant, of Mellowes Court, Finglas, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to having 27 boxes of wine, 33 packs of cigarettes and 47 packs of tobacco on which the tax had not been paid.

The value of the products was around €3,000.

Garda Paul McDonnell said gardai obtained a search warrant and searched the defendant's home on August 24, 2016, and found the products.

Gda McDonnell said McLoughlin co-operated with gardai and made admissions.

Suspicious

The court heard gardai were alerted because there were lots of people coming and going from the property but "it looked more suspicious than it was".

The court heard McLoughlin had four previous convictions, including one for a similar offence, for which he received a suspended sentence.

Defence solicitor Simon Fleming said that McLoughlin was receiving a quantity of untaxed goods and selling them to people in the Finglas area.

Mr Fleming said the defendant, a pensioner, was trying to make money to augment his pension, but it was as much a social outlet as anything else.

He said that McLoughlin had worked all his life until about 10 years ago, when he developed problems with his knees and he needed to have them replaced.

He had already had two hip replacements, Mr Fleming said.

He asked the judge not to send McLoughlin, a father-of-five, to jail.

Imposing a four-month sentence, Judge McHugh said the defendant had previously received the benefit of a suspended sentence.

McLoughlin immediately appealed the sentence.

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