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'Stubborn' Taxi passenger who took driver to Gardaí over 'excessive' fare charged with failing to pay

Alan Downes (51) said he had not been in a taxi for a long time due to the pandemic and admitted he had been 'a bit stubborn'

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Alan Downes later paid the fare and apologised to the driver

Alan Downes later paid the fare and apologised to the driver

Alan Downes later paid the fare and apologised to the driver

A passenger who took a taxi driver to a garda station in a dispute over an "excessive" fare ended up being charged with failing to pay it, a court has heard.

Alan Downes (51) said he had not been in a taxi for a long time due to the pandemic and admitted he had been "a bit stubborn".

The case against him was struck out after a court heard he had since paid the fare and a judge said he dealt with it "very fairly".

Downes, of Clonuske Park, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to refusing to pay a taxi fare.

Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch told Dublin District Court the accused came to Store Street garda station after 2am on October 30 last year and approached the counter.

He told the garda on duty he had travelled in a taxi and was not willing to pay the fare because he thought it was too expensive.

The garda advised Downes to pay the fare and said if he thought it was unfair and had a complaint, to take it up with the taxi regulator. If this was upheld, the garda had said, he would be reimbursed. Downes still refused to pay it and was charged.

The accused told the court the driver did not produce a tariff card when he requested one. Downes believed the fare was excessive and brought the driver to the garda station for clarification.

"I was a bit stubborn to be honest," he said.

The court heard the money had since been paid and the accused apologised to the driver. Striking the case out, the judge said Downes had "dealt with it very fairly".

The offence was under Section 82 of the Road Traffic Act.

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