A TAXI driver who attacked a passenger with a meat cleaver after refusing to give him his change has been jailed for three years.
Bolanle Banjo (50) kept driving the taxi while swiping at the passenger. The victim escaped by jumping from the moving vehicle.
Banjo, of New Ireland Road, Rialto, had pleaded not guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to Peter Brazil, production of an article intending to cause harm and dangerous driving on Neilstown Road on August 8, 2011. He was convicted of all counts after a trial by jury.
Judge Patrick McCartan imposed a sentence of three years and disqualified Banjo from driving for 20 years.
Det Gda Padraic Jennings told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, that Mr Brazil was on temporary release from Mountjoy Prison and had gone there to sign on as part of his release conditions.
He then flagged down Banjo's taxi and asked to go to Clondalkin.
Nigerian national Banjo told the passenger he would have to pay in advance and Mr Brazil gave him €15. When they arrived in Clondalkin, the fare on the meter was less than €15 and Mr Brazil asked for his change.
Banjo became aggressive, cursing at Mr Brazil and refusing to give any money back.
Mr Brazil reached out to take Banjo's taxi identification in order to take down his name and taxi number.
Banjo struck the victim in the left arm with what Mr Brazil thought was a cut-throat razor.
Mr Brazil opened his door to try to get away, but Banjo drove off again. He told Mr Brazil he would cut his throat and called him a "junkie b*****d".
When the victim asked him to relax, he was told: "I'll f***ing kill you."
Mr Brazil jumped from the car and rolled to the side of the road to avoid oncoming cars. Gardai found him in a distressed state with blood pouring from both hands. He had held on to the taxi driver's ID and gardai took this.
They later found a blood-stained meat cleaver in the car.
Oisin Clarke BL, defending, said his client suffered from psychological problems.