herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

Hair salon owner ripped sign off taxi roof and smashed windscreen with it

Jonathan Hudson paid €1,000 in compensation to the driver. Photo: Tony Gavin
Jonathan Hudson paid €1,000 in compensation to the driver. Photo: Tony Gavin

A drunken hair salon owner pulled the taxi sign off a cab's roof and smashed the windscreen with it after the driver refused to take him home.

Jonathan Hudson (31) caused the damage in an act of "deliberate, systematic violence", a judge said.

The court heard the accused got into the taxi at Harrington Street at 2.30am on May 4. He was quite drunk at the time and the driver refused to take him on a journey.

He "fell out of" the taxi and started verbally abusing the driver, before taking the sign off the roof and smashing the windscreen with it.

Gardai arrived and arrested the accused after he was identified by the victim.

Of the obstruction charge, the court heard it had been a "difficult arrest" for the gardai.

Hudson had been verbally abusive to them and resisted arrest. He had previous convictions, but they were for motoring offences.

"It was a pretty violent incident, to extract the roof sign and use it," the judge said. "It's very deliberate, systematic violence."

When gardai met him, sat him down and explained what had happened, Hudson was in "utter disbelief that he had acted in that way, he couldn't believe it", his defence said.

Died

The accused had been on prescribed medication and took a large amount of alcohol on the night.

"He wasn't himself and was trying to get home," the defence said, adding that he understood his behaviour was "wholly unacceptable".

Hudson had gone through some personal difficulties - his sister died last year, and his mother and brother died in 2012.

His father had died when he was young, and the accused was now the only member of his family left alive, the defence said.

The case against him was adjourned at Dublin District Court after he paid €1,000 compensation.

Judge Cormac Dunne said he would apply the Probation Act, leaving Hudson without convictions, if he did not get into trouble again.

The accused, from Moreen Road, Sandyford, pleaded guilty to public drunkenness, causing a breach of the peace and garda obstruction at Camden Street.

He also admitted causing criminal damage to the taxi windscreen at nearby Harrington Street, all on May 4.

Hudson apologised and paid €1,000 in compensation for the damage he had caused.

The court heard he had got an HGV licence and hoped to get into that area of work.

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