Suspended jail terms for fuel launderers

May 8, 2017

Three men have escaped jail after receiving suspended prison sentences, having pleaded guilty to a number of illegal fuel laundering offences.

Padraigh Doran (33) from Newtownhamilton, Martin Fitzpatrick (35), whose address was given as Main Street, Newry, and Michael Kennon (25), of Newtown Road, Belleek were convicted at Newry Crown Court on Tuesday last.

The convictions stem from the discovery by Revenue and Customs of a sophisticated diesel laundering plant at Kilnasaggart Road, Jonesborough in January 2013.

The plant had an underground storage facility with the capacity to hold more than 100,000 litres of laundered fuel and was concealed by an agricultural shed that was built over it.

HMRC officers seized 39,000 litres of laundered fuel, two fuel tankers, 62 bags of bleaching earth – used to launder the diesel – and 18,000 litres of toxic waste from the site.

All three admitted the fraudulent evasion of excise duty, while Doran was also sentenced for a separate fuel fraud offence after he was caught driving a van carrying 2,400 litres of laundered fuel in November 2014.

Having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing in January 2017, Doran was sentenced to two concurrent 18 months jail terms, which were suspended for three years.

Both Fitzpatrick and Kennon were sentenced to 18 months, also suspended for three years.