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Taxi driver cleared of assault on passenger

A TAXI driver has been cleared of repeatedly punching and kicking a passenger in the head in an alleged roadside assault which it was claimed to have happened just yards from a garda station.

Arunnas Kukenas (37) had denied the attack, claiming the passenger, Neil McAtamney, was drunk and hit his head on the ground when he tried to get out of a moving taxi.

Mr McAtamney had claimed Mr Kukenas told him to get out of the taxi after he realised he had left his wallet at home and didn't have the money to pay him, and then repeatedly punched him.

He claimed he needed six stitches to a split eyelid following the attack.

Judge Dermot Dempsey said there were too many inconsistencies in the alleged victim's evidence and dismissed the charge.

The accused, of Castleview Road in Swords, had denied seriously assaulting Neil McAtamney at Main Street in Swords shortly before 2am on October 19, 2011.

Cross examined by Brendan Foley, Mr McAtamney admitted he was drunk but said he remembered the attack very clearly.

Mr Kukenas said Mr McAtamney got out of the car, and he also got out to try and hold him up, but he fell hitting his head.

Judge Dempsey dismissed the charge.