A judge has been asked not to jail a morbidly obese illegal tobacco-dealer because of his health problems.
Sean Barclay, who weighs 38 stone, was due to appear before Letterkenny District Court today charged with having illegal cigarettes.
But the 43 year old could not appear because a big enough wheelchair could not be found in time for his court appearance, according to his solicitor.
Members of the Customs and Revenue raided the home of the father-of-four on March 6th, 2013 and found two boxes of cigarettes and tobacco with no Irish tax stamp on them.
Barclay, of 7 Errigal Road, Letterkenny, admitted he had bought the cigarettes from a friend in Derry and knew they were illegal.
The court heard how Barclay, a former butcher, had €1,855 in his pocket, €1,410 of which he admitted came from selling cigarettes.
His solicitor Patsy Gallagher said his client accepted what he was doing was wrong but it was merely a mechanism for making some cash.
He said a jail sentence would have disastrous consequences for Barclay.
“His health is dire and I am asking the court not to impose a custodial sentence because it will have a devastating effect on him and his health.
“His health has got worse and his family are very concerned for him. His house was repossessed and he is currently awaiting to be rehoused.
“He would have tried to get him here if a wheelchair had have been organised in time,” said Mr Gallagher.
He said Barclay was now house-bound and had a carer.
The court heard that the accused has one previous conviction, also for possessing illegal tobacco, for which he received a two month suspended jail sentence.
The court heard the cigarettes and loose tobacco seized at Barclay’s house had a value of more than €6,800 to the state.
The Revenue Commissioner’s office had also issued Barclay with a writ for €16,000.
Judge Paul Kelly said he was imposing a mandatory fine of €2,500 on Barclay because it was his second offence.