Farmer who wrote €68,000 worth of fraudulent cheques avoids prison
A Fermanagh farmer who wrote fraudulent cheques and made false representations for payments totalling approximately €68,000 despite knowing there were insufficient funds to honour them has avoided a jail sentence.
Keith Crawford also committed a series of driving offences, one of which was detected while he was behind the wheel of a tractor he knew had been stolen.
Dungannon Crown Court heard that on March 3, 2016, Crawford (42), of Kinneen Road, Derrylin, Co Fermanagh, agreed to pay £51,800 for 370 sheep from another farmer, but failed to honour the deal.
On being challenged by the owner, Crawford went on to write cheques to the victim for £30,000 and £10,000 - both of which bounced.
He was also caught driving a stolen New Holland tractor while disqualified and without insurance on April 29, 2016 at Main Street in Derrylin.
Three months later in the same area Crawford was detected behind the wheel of a Land Rover Discovery, also while disqualified and without insurance.
Finally, on August 8, 2016, Crawford bought a vehicle from a Co Fermanagh dealership using a cheque for £20,500, which also bounced.
He first appeared at Dungannon Crown Court on March 7 where not guilty pleas were entered to all allegations and the case was in preparation for trial.