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Trader denies driving car over clamper's foot

A street trader has been accused of driving over the left foot of a Dublin clamper as he tried to avoid a clamp being put on his illegally parked car.

Nsa Okpo (40) has denied he assaulted the clamper, saying he was racially abused, and was called a "f**king black b*****d".

The Dublin City Council clamper said Okpo was initially driving too slowly for the car to go over his foot, but he then accelerated hard and went over the left foot.

A garda witness said the alleged victim had a visible limp when he arrived on the scene at Dublin's Moore Street, and his foot was bruised.

The clamper said he was wearing steel toe-capped boots, and that saved him from serious injury.

Okpo, with addresses at Chieftains Way and Brackenwood Drive, Balbriggan, has denied assaulting the clamping official.

Swords District Court heard that Okpo's red Ford Ka was illegally parked on double yellow lines on Moore Street shortly after 3pm on June 10, 2008.

A Dublin City Council clamper approached him and said he was clamping his vehicle, and went to put a sticker on the window.

The clamper claimed that Okpo verbally abused him, and then got into his car and drove off, driving over his foot.

He then came back, and continued to verbally abuse him, and jabbed him in the nose with his car key.

Garda Declan Reynolds went into the nearby shopping mall to look for him. His Ford Ka was found parked in a car park, but there was no sign of Okpo, who was later arrested by Balbriggan gardai.

In his evidence, Okpo said he parked his car outside the Centra shop and was waiting for his cousin, who was picking up bits and pieces for his new baby.

He said he was standing beside the car when the clampers arrived, and told them, "I'm going to move it. That's my car".

He claimed that one of the clampers walked back to the van to get the clamps, and he got into his car, which was parked on a single yellow line, easily pulled out from the space and drove away.

Okpo, who runs an African shop and restaurant on Moore Street, said he parked his vehicle in a nearby car park, and returned to hand back some unused documents to the clamper.

At this, he claimed the clamper started shouting at him, "what are you doing, you f**king black b*****d".

Judge Patrick Brady adjourned the matter to Balbriggan District Court on Thursday for a decision.

hnews@herald.ie


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