Members of An Garda Síochána stopped a John Deere tractor in Trim town, Co. Meath, in the early hours of this morning, Sunday, December 1, being driven by a 12-year-old boy.

In a brief statement on social media, Gardaí based in Co. Meath outlined the details of the unusual incident:

“Members from Unit C Meath Roads Policing Unit stopped this John Deere tractor at 12:30am this morning in Trim town.

They found three boys in the cab. A 12-year-old was driving the vehicle, accompanied by a 15-year-old and an eight-year-old.

“They were brought to Trim Garda Station and their parents were contacted. We know young farmers love driving tractors, but they have to wait until old enough to be properly licensed,” the statement said.

In an additional comment, Gardaí clarified that the tractor was seized by An Garda Síochána, adding that Gardaí are liaising with the parents of the children involved.

“The matter remains under investigation at this time. We would ask people making comments not to jump to conclusions and allow due process to take its course,” the Garda statement concluded.

Farming couple jailed for VAT fraud

A farmer and his wife have been jailed for their role in a £610,000 (€716,000) VAT fraud, after a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into their Co. Armagh beef cattle farm.

Joseph Cassidy, aged 50, of Killyfaddy Road, Tassagh was a VAT-registered beef farmer from January 1995.

Between July 2011 and March 2015, Cassidy made fraudulent VAT claims totalling £610,000.00, according to the revenue office.

Cassidy and his wife Anna Cassidy, aged 51, who was responsible for the farm’s business records, were arrested on February 23, 2016, on suspicion of VAT fraud and money laundering offences.

Both Anna and Joseph Cassidy pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of VAT and money laundering offences. Both appeared at Newry Crown Court on Thursday, November 28.

Joseph Cassidy was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, and Anna Cassidy was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, according to the revenue office.

The judge ruled that each will spend half of their sentence in jail and the rest on licence.