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Carpet fitter in fake pass row abused bus inspector

AN out-of-work carpet fitter who hurled abuse and threats at a bus inspector when he was caught trying to use a fake travel pass has been given a two-month suspended sentence.

Alan Thorpe (33) was taken off the Dublin bus and arrested after he was found with the false pass that he got from a man while in financial difficulties.

Blanchardstown District Court heard his brother had recently died and he was drinking to cope.

Thorpe, with an address at Foxborough Meadows, Lucan, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a fake travel pass and causing a breach of the peace at Watery Lane, Clondalkin, on July 9 last.

Sgt Maria O'Callaghan said gardai were called to a disturbance on board the bus and met the driver who said he had asked the accused for the bus fare. He produced a free travel pass that an inspector was not happy with and Thorpe became aggressive and threatening.

The court heard he had previously been in court for theft, public order and motoring offences and had been given the benefit of the Probation Act in the past.

DIFFICULTIES

Thorpe had been drinking to cope with the death of his brother when he got into a conversation with a man who offered him the pass. He was in financial difficulties and accepted it.

Thorpe admitted he became "overly aggressive" with the driver, his solicitor said.

He had worked as a carpet fitter, then as a tyre fitter and was now unemployed and retraining to be a welder.

Thorpe hoped to move abroad to work when he qualified and had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

"He seems to have done rather well in relation to previous thefts where he got the Probation Act," Judge David McHugh said. "He's running out of time rapidly. He had a fraudulent bus pass and when approached by the inspector, who is a public servant, he was less than courteous. How long does he expect to get away with this?"

Judge McHugh suspended the two-month sentence for a year and put the defendant on a peace bond.

"I consider an aggravating factor any matter that would relate to a public servant doing his duty," the judge told Thorpe's solicitor.

"I am prepared to accept what you have said in relation to this man wanting to improve his life, but only just about."

aphelan@herald.ie


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