A CHOCOLATE factory worker who bought a BMW car at the side of the road has told a court he had no idea it was stolen but now realises it was suspiciously cheap.
Vadims Koleda (24) paid €5,000 for the 2003-registered vehicle which iss worth more than €14,000. He drove around in the stolen vehicle for five months before being stopped by gardai.
A judge said Koleda's behaviour was very reckless and he should have had his suspicions about the vehicle.
Koleda, of Maple Avenue, Johnstown Wood, Navan, admitted possessing stolen property when he appeared before Blanchardstown District Court.
He also admitted to driving without insurance in the incident on the Navan Road on October 9, 2009.
Garda Sgt Damien Galligan said gardai stopped a 2003 Donegal-registered BMW on the Navan Road due to the manner of Koleda's driving.
Following garda checks, it was discovered the BMW had been stolen in Longford and the correct registration was a 2003 Longford number.
Koleda also had no insurance for the vehicle.
Simon Fleming, defending, said Koleda works in a chocolate factory and is originally from Lithuania. His girlfriend is heavily pregnant and has gone home to give birth.
Mr Fleming said Koleda's behaviour was reckless. He bought the car at the side of the road for €5,000 and simply appreciated the good deal he was getting.
He was told the documents for the vehicle would be sent to him within four weeks but they never came and he just "put his head in the sand".
Judge Hugh O'Donnell said Koleda should have had his suspicions, particularly as he bought the car at the side of the road.
The judge fined him €1,000, banned him from driving and sentenced him to three months in prison, suspended for 18 months.