A taxi driver who was attacked by one of his passengers has told Drogheda Court he had never experienced anything like it during 20 years in the job.
Evidence was given that he was struck with a bottle on the back of the head and when he went to grab the bottle was bitten on the hand.
Jasmine Muldoon (32), Ashfield Drive, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to two summonses arising out of the late-night incident which occurred in Drogheda last year.
She admitted assaulting the driver, causing him harm, and criminal damage at Ashfield Estate on 10 October 2021.
The defendant, who has no previous convictions, was given time to pay a total of €3,000 compensation and to take part in a restorative justice programme.
Gda Alan Davis said that at 12.15am the taxi driver collected Muldoon and her friend. A bottle of wine spilled in the car and there was a dispute over the location.
The driver refused to bring them any further. He was hit with the wine bottle behind an ear and when he tried to grab the bottle he was also bitten on the hand by the defendant.
A letter of apology was among documentation handed into court.
The victim testified that it was an ‘horrific’ incident. In 20 years taxiing nothing like it had happened before.
Judge Michele Finan told the witness that she wanted the accused to ‘sit down’ with him, and asked Ms Muldoon’s counsel to explain what the restorative justice programme is.
Barrister Ronan O’Carroll said it is more victim orientated and allows the parties to come together ‘to address the victim’s concerns while the offender learns a valuable lesson’.
The judge noted that the defendant had a child and worked as a cleaner in a school and that her family were ‘appalled’ at what occurred.
‘Would you give restorative justice a go?’ Judge Finan asked the taxi driver.
When he replied, ‘To whose benefit?’ the judge said it was to ‘everyone’s’.
The man agreed.
Judge Finan remarked this was an appalling incident, ‘beyond what anyone should expect to experience in their day’s work’.
Mr O’Carroll said the victim’s views had been sought, and that there was money there to compensate him for his injuries.
The defendant had been saving and had €850 at present though that wouldn’t cover it.
Mr O’Carroll continued she had been advised of a figure of €2,500 to €3,000.
Judge Finan said she was thinking €3,000 and that ‘time will be given for it to happen’.
The €850 was handed over and Jasmine Muldoon’s case was adjourned until 6 February 2023 for her to come up with the rest of the money.
If that was done and if the restorative justice programme worked, the judge said the summonses would be struck out.
The matter was referred to the Probation Service.