No wheelchair big enough to take 240kg man to court

A judge was asked not to jail a morbidly obese illegal tobacco dealer because of his health problems.

Sean Barclay, who weighs 240kg, was due to appear before Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal yesterday charged with having illegal cigarettes.

However, the 43-year-old could not appear because no wheelchair of adequate size could be found in time for his court appearance.

Members of the Customs and Revenue raided the home of the father of four on March 6, 2013, and found two boxes of cigarettes and tobacco with no Irish tax stamp on them.

Barclay, of 7 Errigal Rd, Letterkenny, admitted he had bought the cigarettes from a friend in Derry and knew they were illegal.

The court heard Barclay, a former butcher, had €1,855 in his pocket, €1,410 of which he admitted came from selling cigarettes.

His solicitor, Patsy Gallagher said Barclay accepted what he was doing was wrong but it was merely a way to make money.

He said a jail sentence would have disastrous consequences for Barclay.

“His health is dire and I am asking the court not to impose a custodial sentence because it will have a devastating effect on him and his health,” said Mr Gallagher.

Mr Gallagher said Barclay was now house-bound and had a carer.

He has one previous conviction, also for possessing illegal tobacco, for which he received a two-month suspended jail sentence.

The cigarettes and loose tobacco seized at Barclay’s house had a value of more than €6,800 to the State.

The Revenue Commissioner’s office had also issued Barclay with a writ for €16,000.

Judge Paul Kelly said he was imposing a mandatory fine of €2,500 on Barclay because it was his second offence.


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