Wednesday 22 May 2019

Taxi attack after '17 pints of beer'

Swords District Court
Swords District Court

Nicola Donnelly

A man who attempted to rob a taxi driver by grabbing him by the neck and threatening him claimed he drank 17 pints of beer on the night.

Lloyd Smith (24) left the taxi driver with bruising to his neck after the frightening ordeal but didn't manage to get any money as the taxi driver manage to force him from the car, Swords District Court heard.

The whole incident was captured on the taxi driver's dash cam, the court heard.

The part-time horticulturist, who has a drink and illicit substance problem, has remained clear of substances since the night and is engaging with the Restorative Justice Programme, the court heard. He also came up with €1,500 in compensation for the taxi driver, his solicitor John Hennessy said.

The court heard the defendant was on an evening out socialising locally when he and another person got into the taxi just after midnight.

Smith, who was a front seat passenger in the taxi, had words with the driver before grabbing him by the neck and threatening him.

A struggle ensued and the taxi driver managed to force the defendant from the car.

Sergeant Anthony Nulty said the taxi driver received bruising but did not lose any money and didn't require to seek medical attention.

Smith, of St Cronan's Court in Swords pleaded guilty to attempting to rob a taxi driver at his home address on November 11, 2017.

He has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor John Hennessy said the defendant had drank '16 to 17 pints of beer' on the night and made many expressions of remorse in his interviews with gardai.

'He has €1,500 in cash for the taxi driver,' said Mr Hennessy.

He added: 'This won't compensate him for the frightening event but it is a genuine expression of remorse.'

Mr Hennessy said the defendant has a drink and illicit substance problem which he now has a clear insight into.

He told the court: 'He is motivated to follow any court order including abstinence.

'He has the support of his employer and his mother. There is no badness in him. Chaos, yes, but he is asking for a chance.'

A positive Probation Report was handed into court and Judge Dermot Dempsey ordered the compensation be handed over to the taxi driver.

He remanded the case until December 4 for finalisation and ordered the defendant to continue with the Restorative Justice Programme, to remain alcohol and drug free and to provide fortnightly urine analysis.

Fingal Independent