Dublin taxi man to go on trial accused of biting off passenger's thumb

CourtsBy Tom Tuite
The driver will face his next hearing on July 24
The driver will face his next hearing on July 24

A Dublin taxi driver accused of biting off the top of a passenger's thumb has been served with a book of evidence and sent forward for trial

Lookman Kareem, 47, with an address at Glenvarra Park, Knocklyon, D16, denies assaulting Noelle Donohue at Richmond Hill in Rathmines in Dublin on December 22, 2013 and has also pleaded not guilty to a more serious charge of assault causing harm to her partner Darren O'Connor.

Judge Bryan Smyth heard at Dublin District Court Court that a row a broke out when one of Mr Kareem's passengers began giggling about his name. After being furnished with medical reports, the judge refused jurisdiction meaning the case will be dealt with a higher level.

Yesterday Mr Kareem was served with a book of evidence and was returned for trial to the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court where he will face his next hearing on July 24th.

Earlier, before jurisdiction was refused, Mr O'Connor had told the district court that he had been socialising with his partner Noelle Donohue and two of her sisters. They were heading to a bar in Rathmines run by Mr O'Connor's brother and they asked the taxi man to bring them there.

Mr O'Connor had said his partner's sister Stacey sat the front passenger seat and when she noticed the driver's name she began laughing. Mr O'Connor alleged that the taxi man started screaming “shut the f*** up, stupid Irish stop this”.

Mr O'Connor claimed the driver became more aggressive.

When the driver pulled in outside the Rathmines Inn, Noelle Donohue tried to take a picture of his card which had his taxi number on it, Mr O'Connor alleged. He then said the driver tried to retrieve his card and swung at her and hit her twice.

Mr O'Connor said he tried to stop it, there was a scuffle and they ended up on the ground. He said he felt an “excruciating pain” and “the top of my finger was off the top of my thumb”.

He alleged his hand was covered in blooded and he looked around and found the top of his thumb before running to his brother's bar. He collapsed on the way but got up again and made it to the bar and asked for ice because “the top of my finger was bitten off”. He was then rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Defence solicitor Chris Horrigan said there may be another explanation and not necessarily a bite. The lawyer had added that his client says he did not do this.