Twenty motorcyclists accused of avoiding the M50 toll were beaten with a total fine of € 212,000 after they failed to go to court.
Sentences ranging from € 6,000 to € 14,000 were sent by Judge Bernadette Owens at a hearing in the Dublin District Court where cases proceeded in their absence after they sent thousands of warning letters.
The court heard a motorcyclist was accused of not paying tolls for more than 600 trips on the busiest highway in Ireland and he allegedly sent nearly 2,000 letters demanding payment.
Each case involved five samples and photographic evidence of how many times the defendant's vehicle was detected using the toll road without paying fees.
The court heard the evidence of the prosecutor showing the passing of various vehicles, mostly private cars, on the freeway on December 2018, as well as in January and February this year.
Proof of ownership of the vehicle at that time was also submitted to the court.
Prosecutor advisor Thomas Rice said an official of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) had ownership certificates and pictures of vehicles passing through the toll gates at the M50.
Vehicle owners are given four to seven months to pay court penalties as well as € 750 in prosecution fees.
Judge Bernadette Owens heard that a private investigator was needed to ensure that the call was given to the defendant.
Fines up to € 5,000 per fee and penalties of up to six months can be charged.
The court also heard that highway authorities only chose "non-paying people" to deal with criminal proceedings but no one has been jailed so far. About 33 riders are on the court list today.
Thirteen cases were postponed to allow TII to engage further with the defendant.
Only five people appeared in court to face their charges. They are permitted to delay short attorneys or consult with TII regarding the unpaid tolls.
One of them accused the highway operator of intimidating while another woman told Judge Owens that his cruel ex-colleague had used his car and was responsible for not paying the M50 fee.
The judge then proceeded to listen to cases of 20 other motorists from around Dublin when they were not there. He noted the registered owner, regardless of who was driving, was responsible for this case.
Louise Reynolds with an address on Allenton Drive, Ballycragh, Tallaght, was fined € 10,500. The heart of the court paid two of 255 trips in his car and TII did not receive contact with him.
The owner of a commercial van registered with Patrick Collins, with an address at Cherry Orchard Parade, Ballyfermot, was hit with a total fine of € 14,000 after the court heard evidence that he had not paid 481 trips. He sent 1,400 letters but the toll road operator did not receive an answer, the court was told.
The car owner Knel Deeb at Dun Emer Green, Lusk, paid 54 out of 328 parts of the toll road, the court said. He was fined € 11,500.
Van's owner, David Meehan, from Arthur Griffith Place, Lucan, should pay € 4 for each trip because he owns a commercial vehicle. However, the court was told that he had a history of 610 trips, no payment and 1,800 letters were sent but the M50 operator did not receive any contact.
The court heard that Jeremiah Brennan with his address at Aras na Cluaine, Clondalkin had a history of 167 trips, no payment and 500 letters of unanswered letters sent to him. He was fined € 7,000 by Judge Owens.
Calin Scintei, with the address at Alexandra Place, East Road, Dublin 3 has sent 1,700 letters about 581 unpaid tolls. He received a total fine of € 13,000.
Rasheed Lawal, from Woodgate, Ballycullen, Dublin 16, was fined € 10,500 after the court was told his car had a history of 366 tolls that had not been paid even though 1,100 letters had been sent.
The court heard car driver Jonathan Doody from The View, Millbrook Lawns, Tallaght, had paid six out of 282 trips and sent 846 letters. Judge Owens fined € 8,000.
Artur Kazmierczak, from Fforster Crescent, Ballydowd Manor, Lucan, was ordered to pay € 10,500 after the court heard that he had not paid 310 trips despite sending 981 letters.
Judge Owens was told that Lee Newman, with an address on Coultry Avenue, Ballymun, was a car owner who had a history of 309 unpaid trips. He also sent 927 letters before the trial began.
Andrea Cucoramu, with an address in Chieftain's Crescent, Balbriggan, was fined € 14,000 after the judge heard evidence that the driver's car had a history of 584 unpaid M50 tolls. TII sent the car owner 1,752 letters.
Tracey O & # 39; Connor, with the address at Latchford Square, Casta Heaney, Dublin15, had paid 54 out of 448 trips in his car, the court was notified, and the judge heard he had sent 1,344 letters. He received a total fine of € 12,500.
Freddy Lodi with his address on North Circular Road, Dublin 1, was fined € 10,000 after the court heard that he had not paid 279 tolls despite receiving 837 letters.
Judge Owens heard evidence that Barry Daly from Glenfield Park, Clondalkin, had paid 12 out of 200 trips made by his car, and he had sent 600 letters but had no contact with toll road operators. He fined him € 8,000.
Robert Taaffe, from Ferrycarrig Road, Coolock, pays 81 out of 407 trips in his car. Sentencing him to € 10,500, Judge Owens noted that he had sent 1,200 letters about the allegations but he did not make contact.
The court heard a car registered for Ian O & Reilly from Holywell Manor, Swords, had a history of 263 parts and three payments, the last being April 2017. He sent 759 letters about toll road fees that had not been paid but the operator did not receive contact. He was fined € 10,000.
Christine O & Hare, from Cedar Grove, Ridgewood, Swords, was fined € 7,000 after Judge Owens was told that his car had used the highway 192 times without paying tolls. About 576 letters were issued but no contact was received from him.
Judge Owens was told Lisa Lawrence, from An Riasc, Farnham Drive, Finglas, was a registered car owner with a history of 564 unpaid tolls and he sent 1,719 letters. He was fined € 14,000.
Ciaran Brogan with an address in Glenville Lawn, Blanchardstown, was fined € 11,500 after Judge Owens was told that his car had a history of 290 aisles and 26 payments. He also sent 870 letters before the prosecution began.
Patrick Holohan, from Dromcarra Avenue, Jobstown, Tallaght, was fined € 6,000. Judge Owens was told his car had a record of 151 trips and no payment. He also sent 453 letters but the toll road operators did not receive contact with him, the court was told.
The standard M50 toll for unregistered private cars is € 3.10 must be paid before 8pm the next day or there is an additional € 3.00 penalty because it has passed the deadline.
The driver has 14 days from the date of issue to pay for the trip and the initial sentence; otherwise, a further penalty of € 41 is applied.
After a further 56 days there is an additional fine of € 103 and if the legal process remains unpaid followed by the possibility of a court fine of up to € 5,000 as well as a six-month prison sentence, or both, per violation.