A man who was in possession of a stolen trailer has been granted the right to have that trailer returned to him at a sitting of Granard District Court last Friday.
When Gardaí were conducting a search at the man’s property, they noticed the trailer in the yard and made inquiries.
They later discovered that the trailer had been stolen nine years previously in the UK and seized it.
“Gardaí made extensive inquiries and discovered it was sold nine years ago,” Sgt Paddy McGirl explained.
“It’s admitted (the accused) bought it in good faith, but it is stolen property and the chassis number was changed.”
Curious about the last statement, Judge Hughes asked, “If I was a buyer of a trailer in open market, should it be presumed that I know its chassis number?
“A car has a chassis number. As far as I’m aware, a trailer has an axle,” he said.
Sgt McGirl explained that a trailer would usually have a chassis number recorded on a plate in the draw bar.
“Mine doesn’t have that,” said Judge Hughes.
“Well this one did,” Sgt McGirl replied.
The person who owned the trailer had been contacted but made no claim to the trailer, the court heard.
“So I have to decide who is entitled to get it back,” said Judge Hughes.
“I would be mindful of returning a trailer that has an altered chassis number. My application is to forfeit it to the state,” said Sgt McGirl.
“And what will the state do with it?” asked an amused Judge Hughes.
“Nothing. So I will return it to this man,” he concluded.