Bedding salesman and internet sensation Mattress Mick has been ordered to pay €900 for unwittingly renting out a taxi to a driver with an expired public service vehicle licence.
Prosecuted by the National Transport Authority (NTA) under his real name, Michael Flynn, the 65-year-old was summonsed to appear at Dublin District Court on Monday.
Mr Flynn, of Kincora Road, Dublin 3, pleaded guilty to not keeping a record of the driver’s licence but was given a chance to avoid a criminal conviction.
Judge John O'Neill was told that during a compliance check a taxi was stopped in Stillorgan in Dublin on March 8th last.
Placed under surveillance
It took off at speed, but the driver’s home was later placed under surveillance. When questioned, the man admitted he had been the driver and his public service vehicle (PSV) licence had expired in January 2015.
He had rented the taxi from Mr Flynn, who was later interviewed by an NTA inspector. Judge O’Neill heard Mr Flynn was found to be very co-operative and professional.
Mr Flynn, who represented himself, told the judge he had not known the driver who rented the taxi from him did not have a PSV licence at the time.
He said he had paid for the man to get one reissued. The driver does not rent the taxi from him any more.
Judge O'Neill noted his explanation and ordered him to donate €500 to the Simon Community and to pay €400 in prosecution costs.
Adjourning the case, Judge O’Neill indicated Mr Flynn will be spared a court conviction if the sums have been paid ahead of the next hearing in December.
Mr Flynn has become a fixture on northside Dublin billboards.
He is better known as Mattress Mick to those familiar with his advertising and videos, which went viral, boosting sales in his mattress shop in Dublin.
He has also featured in a documentary, Mattress Men, which received critical acclaim.