Defence Act 1954

Penalty for purchasing certain military property.

260

260. (1) In this section, the expression “ military property” means any property being—

( a) any arms, ammunition (including bombs, grenades or similar missiles), equipment, instruments or clothing issued for the use of members of the Defence Forces, or

( b) any military decoration of a member of the Defence Forces, or

( c) any furniture, bedding, blankets, sheets, utensils or stores in military charge, or

( d) any provisions or forage issued for the use of a member of the Defence Forces or his horse, or

( e) any horse or vehicle employed in the service of the Defence Forces.

(2) ( a) If any person—

(i) buys, exchanges, takes in pawn, obtains or receives from any person, on any pretence whatsoever, any military property, or

(ii) solicits or entices any person to sell, exchange, pawn or give away any military property, or

(iii) assists or acts for any person in selling, exchanging, pawning or making away with any military property,

such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding F355 [ 250 ] pounds together with treble the value of any military property of which he has become possessed by means of the offence or, at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding six months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

( b) Where a person is charged with an offence under this section it shall be a good defence to prove that—

(i) at the time he did the act alleged in the charge, he was unaware that the property in respect of which the charge was made was in fact military property, or

(ii) the said property was sold by order or with the consent of the Minister or some competent military authority, or

(iii) the said property was the personal property of a person who had ceased to be a member of the Defence Forces or of the legal personal representatives of a deceased member of the Defence Forces.

(3) Where any military property is found in the possession or keeping of any person, such person may be brought or summoned before a Justice of the District Court, and if such Justice has reasonable ground to believe that the military property so found was stolen, or was bought, exchanged, taken in pawn, obtained or received in contravention of this section, then, if such person does not satisfy such Justice that he came by the military property so found lawfully and without any contravention of this Act, he shall be liable on summary conviction to the same penalties as are specified in subsection (2) of this section in the case of a contravention of that subsection.

(4) A person found committing an offence under this section may be arrested without warrant, and brought, together with the military property which is the subject of the offence, before a Justice of the District Court, and any person to whom any such property is offered to be sold, pawned or delivered, who has reasonable cause to suppose that the same is offered in contravention of this section, may arrest without warrant the person offering such military property and deliver him and such military property into the custody of a member of the Garda Síochána to be dealt with according to law.

(5) A Justice of the District Court, if satisfied on oath that there is reasonable cause to suspect that any person has in his possession or on his premises any military property on or with respect to which any offence in this section mentioned has been committed, may grant a warrant in search for such military property as in the case of stolen goods and any military property found on such search shall be seized by the person charged with the execution of such warrant, who shall bring the person in whose possession the same is found before some Justice of the District Court to be dealt with according to law.

(6) For the purposes of this section, military property shall be deemed to be in the possession or keeping of a person if he knowingly has it in the actual possession or keeping of any other person or in any house, building, lodging, apartment, field or place, open or enclosed, whether occupied by himself or not, and whether the same is so had for his own use or benefit or for the use or benefit of another.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F355

Substituted (24.06.1987) by Defence (Amendment) Act 1987 (8/1987), s. 2, item 19, commenced on enactment, subject to transitional provision in s. 16.