Monday 26 September 2016

Taxi man denies biting top off passenger's thumb

Tom Tuite

Published 19/05/2015 | 02:30

Lookman Kareem
Lookman Kareem
Darren O'Connor

A taxi driver is facing trial accused of biting off the top of a passenger's thumb.

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Lookman Kareem (47) denies assaulting Noelle Donohue and a more serious charge of assault causing harm to her partner Darren O'Connor.

Dublin District Court heard that a row broke out when one of Mr Kareem's passengers allegedly began giggling about his name.

At Dublin District Court, Judge Bryan Smyth refused jurisdiction - meaning the case will be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court.

Mr Kareem - with an address at Glenvarra Park, Knocklyon, Dublin 16 - has pleaded not guilty.

Socialising

Mr O'Connor told the district court he had been socialising in Dublin city centre with his partner Noelle Donohue and two of her sisters on December 22, 2013.

They were heading to a bar in Rathmines run by Mr O'Connor's brother and they asked the taxi man to bring them there.

Mr O'Connor said that his partner's sister Stacey sat in the front passenger seat and when she noticed the driver's name she began laughing.

Mr O'Connor alleged that the taxi man started screaming: "Shut the f*** up, stupid Irish, stop this."

Mr O'Connor claimed the driver became more aggressive.

When the driver pulled in at the Rathmines Inn, Noelle Donohue tried to take a picture of his card with his taxi number on it, Mr O'Connor alleged.

He then said the driver tried to retrieve his card and swung at her and hit her twice.

Mr O'Connor said he tried to stop it, there was a scuffle and they ended up on the ground.

He said he felt an "excruciating pain" and that the top of his thumb was off.

He alleged his hand was covered in blood and he looked around and found the top of his thumb before running towards his brother's bar.

He said he collapsed on the way, but got up again and made it to the bar and asked for ice because "the top of my finger was bitten off".

He was then rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Defence solicitor Chris Horrigan said there may be another explanation and not necessarily a bite.

The lawyer added that his client said he did not do this.

After being furnished with medical reports on Mr O'Connor's injury, Judge Smyth said he was refusing jurisdiction.

State solicitor Michael Durkan was granted an adjournment until June 29, when it is expected Mr Kareem will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.

Irish Independent

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