A MOTOR parts dealer who bought a stolen airbag from a man he contacted over the internet has been told he should have made more checks before he handed over the money.
Former army officer Jonathan McSherry (31) paid €1,300 for the Volkswagen parts which, he said, was reasonably good value, but not a bargain. He took the buyer at face value.
Judge David McHugh said McSherry was a man of good standing, but he had fallen into a culture which accepted items at face value, and he had left himself open to being caught.
The judge convicted and fined McSherry €400.
The defendant, of Cedarbrook Walk in Ballyfermot, was found guilty at Blanchardstown District Court of possession of stolen property at the Mill Centre car park in Clondalkin last July 17.
Garda Padraic O'Boyle said he was on mobile patrol when a van driven by McSherry stalled.
Gda O'Boyle spoke to McSherry, who said he was in the motor trade. The garda searched the back of the van and found a number of doors, panels and an airbag, all from a VW Golf.
McSherry told him the parts were from a damaged car, but they were not damaged.
Gda O'Boyle discovered the airbag was from a 2006-registered vehicle stolen in a burglary in Donabate, north county Dublin in January 2011.
McSherry said he he paid €1,300 for the parts, which was a reasonable price, but not a bargain, after he met a Polish man who advertised the parts for sale on the internet.
Defence solicitor Matthew Kenny said only a professional like Gda O'Boyle could identify the airbag as stolen property; there were no definitive checks that McSherry could have made.
Judge McHugh said that caveat emptor, or let the buyer beware, applied in this matter.