independent

Monday 16 September 2019

Cleared lorry driver says he'll sue the UK Revenue

COURT IN WALES FINDS WEXFORD MAN NOT GUILTY

A WEXFORD man has said he is taking a loss of earnings case against British Revenue and Customs as he could not work for over five months as while he waited to be tried in a Welsh court after a Tesco bag containing almost €420,000 was found in the back of a lorry he was driving.

Peter Angelo Doyle (46), from Redshire Road, Murrintown, was last week cleared of being in possession of the cash, knowing or believing it represented the proceeds of crime. He told the court he had nothing to do with the money and had no idea it was there. A WEXFORD DRIVER arrested has been cleared of knowing there was a Tesco bag in the back of his lorry containing almost €420,000.

Peter Angelo Doyle (46) of Redshire Road, Murrintown, told Swansea Crown Court he had nothing to do with the money and had no idea it was there.

UK Border Agency officers who searched his lorry at Fishguard Harbour flast year ound €419,810 in cash inside the bag, which was found under pallets destined for Belgium and Holland. Doyle was arrested and first remanded in custody before later being released on strict bail conditions, which included that he had to stay in the UK and not return home to Ireland while waiting for his case to be dealt with.

Doyle told the Welsh jury, who cleared him of the offence last Thursday, that the lorry had canvas sides and it would have been relatively easy for someone to have gained access to the vehicle before he set off from the BAKU depot in Rosslare or when the lorry had been on board the ferry.

The Wexford man had denied being in possession of the cash, knowing or believing it represented the proceeds of crime.

Thomas Scapens, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court how Doyle was stopped as he left a Stena Line ferry from Rosslare on July 25 last year. He was to have driven through the UK before taking another ferry to the continent.

A search of the cargo revealed a Tesco grocery bag containing 21 tightly-wrapped bundles of euro banknotes.

UK Border Agency Claire Harrison had ordered Doyle to pull into a lay-by where she told another officer to search the cargo.

Just behind the bulkhead the officer noticed two pallets addressed to Holland and Belgium, and the Tesco bag was beneath them. Doyle and his defence team told the court he did not know the bag and banknotes were there. They pointed out that fingerprints taken from the bag did not match Doyle's, and said there was no direct evidence linking him to the money other than the fact it was hidden in the vehicle he was driving.

After one and a half days of evidence in the case, the jury took just 29 minutes to reach its verdict of 'not guilty'.

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