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Trial begins for fake tax claims

A DUBLIN truck driver has gone on trial for defrauding the Revenue Commissioners of cheques worth over €41,000 by making false tax refund claims.

Terrence Downey (37) of Killinarden Heights, Tallaght, has pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to five counts of making false tax refund claims and five counts of inducing another by deception to issue him cheques based on these claims in 2003.

The court was told that Mr Downey sent five tax deduction forms to the Revenue, claiming back amounts between €8662.50 and €15,837.50 for bogus subcontractor work.

The trial continues before Judge Frank O'Donnell.

Singer's crash car 'uninsured'

Rock singer Pete Doherty will appear in court today accused of letting his manager use his car without insurance. It is believed Andrew Boyd (42) was driving Doherty's Daimler when he hit a pedestrian in Hadleigh, Suffolk, on September 27 last year.

Chris Corder (42) was seriously injured in the crash and remains in a coma, his family said. Doherty (30), from Wiltshire, is due to appear before Lowestoft magistrates today.

Scientists sniff out smell link

New research into how animals bond with each other could shed light on the causes of autism and anxiety disorders, scientists said today.

Researchers pinpointed how a key hormone, known as vasopressin, helps animals recognise each other by their smell. Scientists at the University of Edinburgh found that when the hormone fails to work, animals are no longer able to recognise other individuals from their scent.

Researchers said the study may offer clues about the way humans make emotional connections and deepen our understanding of the role scent plays in memory.

Rushdie hiding book planned

Novelist Salman Rushdie plans to write a book about his decade in hiding under a death threat from the Iranian government using a digital archive of his personal papers.

"It's my story, and at some point, it needs to be told," he said. "That point is getting closer, I think."