A FORMER professional footballer was caught with tens of thousands of euros worth of fake football shirts, cigarettes, DVDs and sportswear when Gardai raided his home.
Kevin Doherty, 44, pleaded guilty to a number of charges when he appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court in County Donegal.
Gardai, led by Detective Michael Galvin, forced their way into the 44-year-old’s home in Burnfoot when they received no response on June 11, 2019.
A search of the premises revealed a huge shipment of goods in the garden shed on the grounds of the house.
Among the transport were nearly €50,000 worth of cigarettes and tobacco as well as hundreds of pairs of fake Nike and Vans sneakers as well as dozens of replica jerseys and other counterfeit clothing, including Ralph Lauren, Adidas, New Balance, Nike, Fred Perry and Gym. King.
When questioned by Gardai, Doherty initially claimed he didn’t have a key to the shed and was just keeping them for someone else.
However, he later admitted that he was provided with cigarettes and tobacco in exchange for possessing the counterfeit products and that he was indebted to the owner of the products due to a gambling addiction he had.
The court was told the goods were being sold from a makeshift shack in the Galliagh area of Derry.
Doherty pleaded guilty to detaining for the sale or delivery of specified tobacco products without the proper revenue stamp contrary to the 2005 Finance Act.
The defendant, who lives in Fern Park in Derry, also pleaded fraudulent application or use of a trade mark in relation to goods contrary to section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1996.
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Evidence of the raid was given by Garda Detective Joe English.
The court was told the case was delayed as Gardai had to contact a number of Premiership football clubs to determine whether the goods were fake.
Lawyer Gareth McGrory described his client’s situation saying his father died three years ago and it had a huge impact on his life as they were very close.
Doherty had played professional football in England with a number of clubs, including Southampton, from the age of 17 to 21, but had returned to Derry and worked at a number of local businesses, including Seagate.
GAMBLING AND ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE
He had suffered from a gambling addiction since he was just 24 years old and he admitted to excessive alcohol consumption, but did not use any drugs and had mental health issues for which one prescribed him anti-anxiety medication.
Mr McGrory said his client was physically able to work and suggested he could move from Derry to an address in Donegal and complete any community service program the court might order instead of imposing a custodial sentence. freedom.
Mr McGrory added that the case was certainly not the smallest of such cases, but likewise it was not the largest that Gardai had come across and his client had no other cases in hand. Classes.
The court was told that the tariff for such offenses could be up to five years in prison or a fine of €126,000.
Judge John Aylmer said he should review the case and adjourned it for final sentencing until next week.