Suspended Sentence Handed Down To Man Who Applied For Fake Passports

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A man orginally from Tipperary told a court that he used two fake passports to avoid a charge of drink driving.

55 year old John Power obtained the fake document in 2006.

Power used a namesake’s birth certificate, date of birth and address to do this. He provided his own photo.

John Power had met a man in a pub who arranged to do this for him. He provided the name to Gardaí, but they were unable to find him.

This had taken place before the Passport Act of 2008, when stricter checks were placed on passports.

Power was able to renew his old, fake passport. When he was queried on his travels by an official, he became uneasy and destroyed both passports.

He applied for a passport using his brother’s address and date of birth, but was rejected when more information was required.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard how he tried to get another fake passport in his brother’s name. He did this as he feared that his other passport would be flagged by authorities.

Mr Power pleaded guilty to two counts of providing false information to the Passport Office in Dublin in February 2015 and between January and February 2016.

“Late in life”

The court also heard how Power’s activities came to light when the Tipperary John Power decided to apply for a passport “late in life”. The man had recently married and applied for a passport as his wife was British and he thought he might need to visit her elderly parents.

He was unaware that the other John Power had applied for two passports using his identity.

John Power was subsequently arrested in Dublin Airport, while travelling from the Netherlands to the US, via Dublin.

Detctive Garda Cian Steers told the court that Mr Power travelled around Europe regularly for work. He also said Power was fearful he would not be allowed to drive in other countries if a drink-driving conviction from 1998 came to the attention of the authorities.

Det Garda Steers also said that Power also told Gardaí that he did not have a clear memory of why he applied for the passports due to his stroke.

The court also heard that Mr Power had a wife and four children in the Netherlands.

“Other aspects of criminality”

Judge Pauline Codd noted medical evidence showing that Mr Power suffered a stroke a few years ago. From this stroke, he had subsequently suffered memory loss issues.

Judge Codd was also satisfied that John Power did not use these passports for “other aspects of criminality”.

However the judge did add that Mr Power “clearly sought to use it to circumnavigate the law in terms of a drink-driving offence”.

The judge also pointed to the fact that the accused had applied for a passport three times as an aggravating factor. She added it involved “a high level of planning and cunning”. 

The judge handed Mr Power a suspended three and a half year sentence.