A Brazilian man who attempted to pass off a counterfeit Portugese driving licence as legitimate when stopped by gardaí almost a year ago has been banned from driving by Judge Seamus Hughes.
Fabio Feitosa Vaz (44) Apartment 3, Market Street, Granard, Co Longford was stopped by gardaí at the Ballymahon Road, Edgeworthstown, Co Longford on December 1 2018. After being pulled in, the court was told Mr Vaz was asked for the production of various driving documentation including his licence.
Judge Hughes was told Mr Vaz subsequently handed over a Portuguese licence which turned out to be false. Just over two months later, the court heard how Mr Vaz was stopped for a second time, this time by Garda Justin Browne on February 23 2019.
On that occasion, Mr Vaz was found to be at the wheel with no tax or NCT with a lawful demand being made for the defendant's licence as well as certificate of insurance. During the course of his exchange with Garda Browne, Judge Hughes was told a Spanish driver's licence was produced by the accused.
Prior to any formal order or sentencing was handed down, the court was told Mr Vaz had one previous conviction to his name.
That came in April 2011 for a drink driving offence, resulting in a €250 fine and a three year disqualification. In mitigation, defence solicitor Frank Gearty said Mr Vaz his client originated from Brazil before later emigrating to the Iberian peninsula in Portugal.
It was there Mr Gearty said he believed Mr Vaz obtained the false documentation for a sum of around €200 before moving to Ireland where he later married. Now separated, Mr Gearty said Mr Vaz had, when in better health, worked as a valet.
The local solicitor said one of his friends had told him the father of one was currently “very unwell” owing to a serious liver problem.
“Previously, he (Mr Vaz) had a moderately good record,” added Mr Gearty.
In summation, Judge Highes handed down fines totalling €750 for the first incident in Edgeworthstown with a further €750 for the more recent offence in February. He was also disqualified from driving for a period of four years for driving without insurance.