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Motorist drove over girl's foot after 'tailgate' row

A MOTORIST went over a teenager's foot after she got out of her car to remonstrate with him for driving close to the back of her vehicle.

Sean Hardy (22) hit Samantha Byrne on the right leg with the right wheel of his van, knocking her to the ground.

She sprained her ankle in the assault and was on crutches for 10 days.

Judge John Coughlan convicted and fined the defendant €500 and banned him from driving for four years.

Hardy, of Slade Castle Walk, Saggart, was found guilty before Tallaght District Court of assaulting Ms Byrne.

He was also found guilty of dangerous driving, failing to report an occurrence and failing to provide appropriate information on the accident at Old Bawn Road, Tallaght, on August 13, 2013. Ms Byrne, who was aged 17 at the time, said she was driving towards St Dominic's Shopping Centre at around 7.45pm and indicated to pull into the turning lane of traffic.

She said a man driving a Ford Focus van was aggressive and would not let her move in front of him.

Ms Byrne said she edged her way into the lane, but in her rear view mirrors she could see Hardy screaming and giving her the finger.

She got out of her car at a red traffic light and asked: "What's wrong with you? Will you stop".

Ms Byrne said Hardy revved up the engine and hit her with his van, knocking her to the ground.

In cross-examination, Ms Byrne denied she injured her foot when she kicked the defendant's van.

In his evidence, Hardy denied he drove over Ms Byrne's foot, or that he was aggressive towards her.

He claimed Ms Byrne did not pull off at a green light so he beeped the horn at her. She got out of the car and started screaming at him.

Hardy further claimed that four men got out of the car, and shouted at him. He was scared and tried to drive away.