Sunday 17 December 2017

Taxi driver repeatedly stabbed with corkscrew in 'unprovoked' attack, court hears


Andrew Phelan

A taxi passenger seized the cabbie’s keys and repeatedly stabbed him with a corkscrew in a “persistent, unprovoked” attack, it has been alleged.

John Scully (30) is accused of assaulting the taxi driver (55), who “feared for his life” during the incident after he dropped him off on a street in north Dublin at the weekend.

Judge John O’Neill refused to grant Mr Scully bail and remanded him in custody when he appeared in Dublin District Court today.

The defendant, with an address at Hazelcroft Gardens, Finglas, is charged with assault causing harm to the taxi driver at Royal Canal Avenue, Ashtown on August 9.

Objecting to bail, Garda Damien Sheehan cited as grounds the seriousness of the allegations and the possibility of further charges being brought.

The maximum penalty on conviction was five years in prison, the garda said.

He alleged the incident was a “possible hijacking.”

It was alleged that the taxi driver picked the accused up on Prussia Street, Dublin 7 at 10pm. He asked the driver to pull over and exited the rear of the vehicle.

It was alleged he then approached the driver’s side and shouted at the cabbie: “get out of the car or I’ll stab you.”

A struggle ensued in which the driver alleged that the defendant grabbed the keys from the ignition. In a further struggle, Mr Scully allegedly stabbed the driver a number of times in the arm with a corkscrew opener.

According to the garda, the accused managed at one stage to get back into the car with the keys.

However, the driver got him out of the car and shouted at a number of witnesses to help him. Garda Sheehan said it was alleged the witnesses came forward and helped to restrain the accused, who was “extremely violent.”

It appeared to have been a persistent and unprovoked attack, the garda said.

The alleged victim made a comprehensive statement in which he said he had been in fear for his life. He sustained “rather serious injuries.”

The court heard the accused admitted he had a drug problem and had taken 46 Zimovane tablets as well as alcohol on the night.

Defence Solicitor Tony Collier argued there were “too many gaps” in the garda’s case to warrant a bail refusal.

Judge O’Neill said he was refusing bail on “the totality of the evidence” and remanded the defendant in custody, to appear in Cloverhill District Court this Thursday.

Legal aid was granted after the court heard the accused was unemployed.

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