Defendant admitted having stolen tractor
Published 18/02/2014 | 05:40
A 61-year-old man who pleaded guilty to the possession of a stolen tractor has been remanded in custody to May.
At Sligo Circuit Court, Ian Maxwell, Lisdoogan, Ballymote, admitted having the John Deere on January 18th, 2011.
Judge Tony Hunt heard Maxwell initially told Gardai he bought the tractor from a dealer in Northern Ireland.
However, Detective Garda Chris O'Neill said it had been stolen from Balbriggan, Dublin, in May, 2009.
When Gardai contacted the dealer in the North, he said he never sold any tractor to Ian Maxwell and didn't know him.
Detective Gda O'Neill said the tractor was found to have its chassis number re-stamped twice.
It was discovered in a slatted shed at Lisdoogan.
The Gardai were not any wiser as to how Maxwell acquired it.
He had it in his possession for close to two years.
The owner had travelled to Ballymote and identified a number of distinguishing items on the vehicle.
The court was told that FBD insurance had paid out a sum of €30,000 in respect of the tractor.
Prosecuting Counsel Dara Foynes BL said Maxwell entered a guilty plea before witness summonses were issued.
Judge Hunt was informed the father of five had received a two year suspended sentence under the theft act in 2007.
He commented that Maxwell was "almost probably up to his old tricks" while the suspended sentence was still running.
He remanded Maxwell in custody to May 13th.
Meanwhile, Maxwell was found not guilty by a jury of six men and six women of dishonestly obtaining a Volvo cattle truck from a Kildare man in February, 2011.
John Barry said he gave the truck to Maxwell, who told him he would find a buyer for it.
However, he claimed Maxwell kept the truck, which later went on fire.
Maxwell maintained he bought the truck.
A price of €12,500 had been agreed.
Maxwell said he gave Barry €5,000 in cash, a trailer worth €500 and the other €7,000 was in respect of lands he allowed Barry use for grass and silage for horses near Gurteen.
Having heard two days of evidence, the jury, who deliberated for 90 minutes, also found Maxwell not guilty of attempting to dishonestly induce FBD insurance to make a pay out in respect of a fraudulent claim on May 24th, 2011.
The court heard no money had been paid out.
By direction of Judge Hunt, Maxwell was found not guilty of using a false vehicle ownership form at the Vehicle Registration Office between February 17th and 21st, 2011 and forging another's signature on a notification of transfer of ownership form.