Three men ‘tried to gouge out my eyes’ in assault after Bon Jovi concert, court told
Published 02/05/2014 | 08:39
Three “Arab or Asian-type immigrants” tried to gouge out a Dublin taxi driver's eyes in an attack following a Bon Jovi concert at Croke Park eight years ago, a judge has heard.
Martin O'Neill (45) of Kelly's Bay Cove, Skerries, said his attackers had also punched, kicked and bit him on his head and also attempted to break his jaw by pulling his cheeks apart with their fingers.
Barrister Frank Beatty told the Circuit Civil Court that following the concert Mr O'Neill and his then girlfriend, Emelia, now his wife, decided to catch the Nitelink bus from D'Olier Street, Dublin, to Skerries.
He had gone to get change for the fare and when he returned to the bus stop he saw three men who were talking to Emelia and he said goodnight to them before they entered the bus.
Mr Beatty said the attack occurred on May 21, 2006, after the three men had followed the couple onto the bus.
He said the case had originally been taken in the High Court but had been transferred to the Circuit Court with unlimited jurisdiction.
Mrs O'Neill said the men had started chatting her up at the bus stop and had become very pushy, inviting her to stay and go to a party with them.
As soon as they had entered the bus the men had started shouting abuse at Mr O’Neill.
Mr O'Neill told Judge Matthew Deery that the men shouted racial remarks, calling him an Irish pig and using foul language.
The bus driver told Mr O’Neill and his girlfriend to go upstairs and said the men would not be allowed to enter the bus.
Just after being seated upstairs the three men followed them up and attacked him.
He had been kicked and punched and one of them bit him on the head.
Another tried to pull his eyes out of their sockets while the third tried to break his jaw.
Mr O'Neill told the court he had suffered injuries to his eyes and to the inside of his mouth as well as soft tissue bruising to his back and legs.
He later had to have blood tests to rule out the possibility of having contracted diseases.
He said that once his assailants had finished attacking him they fled the bus.
Mr O’Neill was treated at St James's Hospital.
He sued Dublin Bus for damages for assault, negligence and breach of contract.
Judge Deery awarded him damages of €12,720.
The judge said the bus company's printed directions to drivers made little reference to the protection of passengers.
He felt it would have been appropriate for the driver to have closed the doors on the men and driven off if necessary after the gardai had been |called.