Fireworks offender gets ‘rocket’ from judge

editorial image

A Lurgan man was fined £2,500 last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court for selling fireworks without having a licence.

But shortly after the fine was imposed he lodged an appeal against the sentence saying he would ‘struggle to pay it.’

Anthony Patrick Montgomery (30), Edward Street, Lurgan, admitted selling fireworks without a licence on October 25 this year and possession of fireworks without a licence.

The court heard that police went to his home and Montgomery co-operated with them taking them to a bedroom where they found a large quantity of fireworks with price labels on them.

He admitted they belonged to him and he did not have a licence.

When interviewed Montgomery said he was just being stupid and because it was Halloween he saw an opportunity to make a few pounds.

He had bought the fireworks throughout Northern Ireland and sold some to a few people and the money involved was around £500.

“I’ve been stupid and I got caught,” he told police.

Mr Conor Downey, representing the defendant, said his client co-operated fully when police attended at his house.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, suggested the defendant should attend at an accident and emergency department to see young children who have been badly injured by fireworks.

She also said Montgomery should be signing up with every employment agency because of the fine she was going to impose.

On the charge of selling fireworks she fined him £2,500 and ordered him to pay a £15 offender’s levy while she imposed a two year conditional discharge on the second offence.

The judge gave him 16 weeks to pay the fine adding that if he didn’t he could face up to two months in custody.

Later in the court Mr Downey applied for bail so that his client could appeal against the sentence.

In the dock Montgomery said he would ‘struggle to pay it’ and that the lesson had been learned.

Judge Kelly told him he had done it before so the lesson had not been learned.

She set bail at £250 for him to appeal against the sentence.