08 Aug 2022

Man who failed to show up for court arrested as he travelled during Covid-19 lockdown


A Clondalkin man who failed to show up for a court appearance three years ago to face tax fraud charges was arrested last week as he was travelling around during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Martin Stokes of Woodford Heights, Clondalkin pleaded guilty in April 2016 to charges under the Theft and Fraud Offences Act relating to tax registration. The offences took place on dates in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Stokes failed to appear for a sentence hearing in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on June 3, 2016. The case was adjourned for a week when his lawyers told the court he is an employed father of three but Stokes failed to show in court a week later and the judge issued a bench warrant for his arrest. 

This warrant was executed on Monday last week. Judge Melanie Greally refused bail and remanded him into custody for sentence today, Thursday, April 23.

Keith Spencer BL, defending, told the court that his client could not be brought to court because he is being held in quarantine for 14 days. He said this is a precautionary measure being put in place by the Prison Service and all new prisoners are quarantined for 14 days upon committal to the prison service, before being released to the general prisoner population.

Mr Spencer said that since his client's committal he had booked a video-link meeting but that the prisoner wasn't brought to the meeting.

He told Judge Martin Nolan that the prisoner would be quarantined for another four days. Judge Nolan adjourned the case to April 30 next and ordered that he be brought to court on that date for sentence.

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