They seek him here, they seek him there — the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel jailed for eight months

A man who purchased €700 worth of jewellery with a cheque that later bounced and who was virtually untraceable over four years while gardai attempted to execute a bench warrent has been jailed for eight months.

The 32-year-old man, who was described at a previous court sitting as a Scarlet Pimpernel, had managed to dodge a bench warrant by giving numerous false names, addresses, and dates of birth.

The bench warrant was issued in June 2005 after the defendant failed to appear in court to answer a number of road traffic offences committed at Drumgriffin, Currandulla, on December 4, 2004.

Joseph Jennings, with an address given as Tysaxon, Monivea, pleaded guilty this week to drink driving, dangerous driving, and driving without insurance. Jennings also pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining services from Center Jewellers, Orantown, on September 11, 2008, by buying a gents’ chain and ring and tendering a Bank of Ireland cheque for €700 knowing that there were no funds to honour it.

Inspector Michael Coppinger told the court that on December 4, 2004, Garda Ray Quinn received a call to go to Drumgriffin where he found the defendant’s car performing hand-brake turns near to Regan’s pub. Jennings was arrested and taken to the garda station where he gave an intoxiliser reading of 72mgs of alcohol per 100ml of breath. The court had previously heard that Jennings gave a false name and date of birth and had managed to evade arrest on foot of a subsequent bench warrant until this year.

Defence solciitor Geroid Geraghty told Judge Mary Fahy that his client, a father of two, had not been insured as he had been driving a friend home in that person’s car. Mr Geraghty added that Jennings intended to pay back the money owed for the jewellery.

Judge Fahy convicted Jennings and imposed a total of eight months in jail and disqualified him from driving for three years.



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