Jail for man who demanded €1million to appear in court

November 20, 2020

A DONEGAL man who demanded €1 million to appear in court has been jailed. 

Tom Dignam (70) was sentenced to two months imprisonment after being brought before Letterkenny District Court on a number of motoring charges.

Dignam, from Woodlands, Dooish, Ballybofey, was charged with having no insurance and no driving licence at the Lidl car park at Paddy Harte Road in Letterkenny on August 29, 2018, 2018. Dignam was also charged with failing to produce a licence and failing to produce insurance.

He was further charged with driving while holding a mobile phone at Fort Lynne, Letterkenny on the same day.

Detective Garda O’Sullivan gave evidence of the arrest of Dignam on foot of two bench warrants.

Dignam represented himself in Court.

“I am here under duress,” he told Judge Paul Kelly.

“I am not ‘Mister’ Dignam.  There is a charge here for the legal fiction Tom Dignam. I address you as the man commonly known as Tom Dignam. Which Tom Dignam do you seek?

“You cannot get jurisdiction on me, the living man. I address you in relation to a contract that you have with me for one million euro. You have 30 days to pay.”

In October 2019, when this case was first heard, Dignam told Judge Kelly: “I want one million euro to come back into this court.”

On that occasion, the case was adjourned for later that afternoon, but Dignam did not re-appear and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Judge Kelly sought original copies of a driving licence and insurance certificate and said the copy of the licence which had been submitted did not cover the date of the offences.

Dignam said: “I am not engaging with you. I am relying on my paperwork, which you have since last year.”

Judge Kelly said he found the facts to be proven on the last occasion and had issued a bench warrant for sentencing.

Judge Kelly said that Dignam’s failure to produce the documents left him to conclude that he was not insured on the date in question.

Dignam said: “I don’t drive. I travel. You cannot prosecute me. It’s all lies.”

For the charge of driving with no insurance, Judge Kelly sentenced Dignam to two months in prison. For driving with our a licence, Dignam was fined €200.

Dignam was fined €200 for failing to produce insurance and €100 for failing to produce a licence, while a fine of €150 was imposed for driving while holding a mobile phone.

Recognisance was set on Dignam’s own bond of €500.

Judge Kelly told Dignam: “For your own benefit, if you wanted to engage meaningfully with the Court, you might find yourself in a different position.”




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