Suspended prison sentence after damaging taxi

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A Dungannon man has been given a one month suspended prison sentence after he damaged a taxi and made off without paying his fare.

Armindo Passos, 41, from Killyman Road, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how the taxi had taken the defendant from the airport when the incident occurred on May 4.

Passos, who appeared in court with an East Timor translator, had offered to pay the driver £160 towards the cost of repairing the damage, which had been estimated at £500.

The defence solicitor said that Passos was no longer able to work, and had been turned down for benefits. He was currently living with friends. A medical report was submitted with the pre-sentence report, which deemed Passos not suitable for community service due to his health problems.

Judge John Meehan said that due to Passos’ health condition he would show clemency and suspended the sentence for one year.