A man who terrorised a female taxi driver when he was a passenger in her vehicle has been hit with a heavy fine for his behaviour.
Dean McKeever, aged 26, of Carrygauley, Letterkenny appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with the incident which happened on September 26th, 2015.
The court heard how the taxi-driver was left in a terrible state, and was forced to take six weeks off work due to the trauma she suffered.
Inspector Goretti Sheridan read the victim’s statement of events from the day in question.
It read, “I picked up two males, and McGeever got in the front of the car, I knew he was called McKeever because his friend was calling him that.
“He started saying nasty things to me, he said ‘what time did you wake up this morning at, what time did you jump off him’?
“His friend in the back seat kept telling him to shut up and cop on, but he continued his nasty tirade towards me.
“I felt sorry for the boy in the back, as he kept pleading with McKeever to stop, but he didn’t pay any attention to him.
“The boy in the back was giving me directions, and I just ignored McKeever, he kept saying, ‘Are you not speaking to me now’?
“I pulled up where they wanted off, but he didn’t have any money, he pulled out a €2 coin, and I explained to him the fare was more than that.
“He started hitting me on the shoulder with the palm of his hand saying ‘I’m only having the craic with you’ – I asked him to stop but he said he was only messing.
“He then refused to get out of the car, he said ‘I’m not get out of this f***ing car’ – I went to drive off and then he pulled the steering wheel aggressively, then he grabbed the back of my hair very hard, and said he was going to jump out of the taxi and opened the door.
“I had called for another taxi man to come and help me, and arrived shortly after this – it was my first bad experience in the taxi industry in twelve years.
“I took six weeks off work due to the incident, but as I said it was the first bad experience I ever had working as a taxi driver.”
Solicitor for the defendant Frank Dorrian said his client accepted that his behaviour was totally unacceptable, and that he has since found employment in the UK.
Mr Dorrian said, “My client is now employed in Scotland, he’s working for a company who are carrying out the construction of a bridge, he’s doing very well since he relocated to Scotland, and the company he works for regard him as an excellent employee.
“His behaviour in this case was unacceptable and he accepts that, he was angry with the world it seems, and he would have a problem with authority.
“He thought he was being amusing saying what he was saying, when he was hitting her on the shoulder he was doing so in a friendly fashion, he can’t remember pulling her hair, but accepts it happened and is very sorry for his irresponsible actions.
“He has engaged with the probation and welfare services and has addressed the issues he had with alcohol, and he’s willingly to compensate the taxi driver for her loss of earnings.”
Judge Paul Kelly ordered the defendant to pay compensation of €2,500 to the taxi driver for her loss of earnings.
He was also hit with two additional fines of €250 and €200 and was given six months to pay both.