Friday 14 December 2018

Dad gouged eyes of taxi driver during 'appalling' assault

Gardai saw Stephen McAuley attacking the taxi driver.
Gardai saw Stephen McAuley attacking the taxi driver.
Eimear Cotter

Eimear Cotter

A passenger who gouged the eyes of a taxi driver had "drunk to excess" while out celebrating after he discovered his partner was pregnant.

Stephen McAuley (39) threatened the taxi driver and ordered him out of the vehicle, a court heard.

The victim drove to a garda station and the blows could be heard by gardai outside the car.

Judge David McHugh said the assault sounded "appalling".

He ordered McAuley to complete 220 hours of community service in lieu of five months in prison.

The defendant also had €2,500 compensation in court for the victim.

McAuley, of Chapelwood Avenue, Hollystown, admitted before Blanchardstown District Court to seriously assaulting a taxi driver and threatening to kill him at Main Street, Blanchardstown, on January 22 last year.

Sgt Geraldine McManigan said the victim picked up McAuley at Hollystown.

McAuley was immediately aggressive and violent and struck the taxi driver repeatedly on the top and side of his head.

The driver drove to Blanchardstown Garda Station and sounded the horn to attract the attention of gardai.

Sgt McManigan said gardai saw McAuley lean over the passenger seat and strike the victim with his fists. The blows could be heard by gardai.

McAuley also put his fingers in the victim's eyes and gouged him. The victim was in fear of his life and suffered swelling and pain to his head and face.

Defence solicitor Damien Coffey said McAuley, a father-of-two, had worked as a taxi driver and wished to apologise for his behaviour.

On the night, he had found out his partner was pregnant and he had gone out and "drunk to excess".

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