A YOUNG man who drove off from a nightclub with a woman's finger caught in the car door -- severing it below the nail -- found the finger tip when he opened the door the next morning, a court heard.
Thomas Dennis called his father when he found the finger tip but only reported the accident to gardai three hours later.
He was collecting his friends from a nightclub in Balbriggan when the victim came over to talk to them and he drove away not realising her hand was caught in the door.
The victim, Shauna Weldon, a qualified hairdresser, said she has had to retrain since the accident and is still receiving physiotherapy on her hand.
She also said she still fears losing the finger.
Judge Dermot Dempsey fined Dennis €1,500, saying his hands were tied because the offence carries a maximum monetary fine of €2,000.
The defendant, of Newtown Parks in Skerries, admitted before Swords District Court to failing to report the incident at Quay Street in Balbriggan around 3.30am on December 16, 2012.
Garda Kieran Moloney said Dennis was picking up two friends who had been in the nightclub when Ms Weldon, who is in her 20s, came over to the car.
Gda Moloney said Ms Weldon was talking to the passengers, who she did not know and had her hand on the door. It was claimed that Ms Weldon tried to get into the car but she denied this.
Gda Moloney said the defendant opened the car door the next day and a severed finger tip fell out.
The court heard the defendant has never been in trouble before. A defence lawyer said the incident was regrettable but Dennis was unaware of what had happened.
She said he saw a lady lying on the ground surrounded by a group when he drove off but he did not realise it was the same woman who had been talking to the people in his car.
The laywer said Dennis co-operated fully with gardai, and was very apologetic for what had happened.