A man with a string of previous convictions was sentenced to four months jail at yesterday’s sitting of Donegal Court, after what Judge Kevin Kilrane described was a “vicious assault” on a local taxi driver. A second defendant was warned he would get three months jail, if he did not pay the taxi driver €2,000 in compensation by October of this year.
In the course of the assault at Glencoe, Mountcharles on June 27, 2010 which followed a dispute in the back of the taxi, the driver was dragged out of the taxi and received injuries to the head and ears, as he was tossed to the ground, by one of two defendants before the court. A wing mirror on the taxi was also broken during the altercation.
The injured party, Thomas Love, was unable to identify the person or persons actually kicking him on the ground, because he was using his hands and arms to protect himself being kicked in the head, he said in evidence.
The court was told that the driver had initially collected three females and later three males. A “heated argument” broke out between parties in the back of the taxi, when the second defendant, Sean Boyle with an address of Drumbeigh, Mountcharles attempted to open the taxi door in transit.
When the taxi driver stopped and tried to calm matters down, he was dragged out of the taxi by the two defendants.
The victim said that he was hit on the left hand side of his face, when he refused to get out of his vehicle. But he was dragged out and “beaten down to the ground”. He identified the first accused as Paul Martin with an address of Main Street, Ballintra as the person who had caught him by the t-shirt and dragged him to the ground.
Medical evidence provided to the court showed that the victim had received injuries to the nose, ears, head and chest areas.
Referring to the victim, Judge Kevin Kilrane said that he had done his best to try and calm matters down, but that he had received “quite a beating”. “It must have been a shocking experience”, Judge Kilrane added.
Paudge Dorrian solicitor, said that it was a row that had unfortunately escalated.
Before imposing the jail term, the Judge heard that Martin had a total of 28 previous convictions, including a section three assault.
Imposing a 4 months prison term for “this vicious assault” he took a further charge of criminal damage to the taxi into consideration.
Later Mr Martin, in a separate case, was also given a 4 month concurrent sentence and six year driving disqualification for a Section 49 drink driving offence, which the court was told took place while still disqualified from a previous offence.
Regarding the second defendant, Sean Boyle, whom the court was told also had previous convictions including one for a Section 2 assault Judge Kilrane said that the defendant would have to come up with €2,000 compensation for the taxi driver, if he (the defendant) wanted to stay out of jail.
On asking for further time to pay the compensation, the Judge said that he would not do so, because of the circumstances of the assault. He added to the defendant, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
He gave Boyle until October 24th to come up with the compensation money or else he would face three months in jail.