herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Racist passenger abused taxi driver after 15-pint binge

A PASSENGER who told a Nigerian taxi driver to "go back to your own country" and shouted "f**k off, I'm not going to pay that n*****" had earlier drunk more than a dozen pints.

Robert Arnold (50) allegedly told the driver he hated Nigerians because he had previously been robbed by them.

He denied he threatened the taxi driver, saying he was told to get out of the vehicle after he asked for a receipt.

A judge ordered a probation report and adjourned sentencing to January, saying Arnold needed to address his drink problem.

Arnold, of Verona, Kilgobbin Road in Sandyford, was found guilty before Dun Laoghaire District Court of public drunkenness, threatening and abusive behaviour and failing to pay a taxi fare.



SCARED

The incident took place at Goatstown Road, Goatstown on January 22 last.

The taxi driver said he picked up Arnold on Westmoreland Street, and was asked to bring him to Sandyford.

While in the taxi, Arnold said he hated Nigerians and started verbally abusing him, saying he was an "illegal alien" in Ireland and he should go back to his own country.

He also claimed Arnold made a phone call while in the taxi, telling the person "I have a Nigerian here" and then asking the driver: "Are you scared?"

Garda Meighan Meng said Arnold refused to pay the taxi fare of €20, and shouted at her "f**k off, garda, I'm not going to pay that n*****".



medication

The garda also said Arnold had 15 pints to drink, though he claimed he only had four.

The defendant claimed the taxi driver asked him how to get to Sandyford, and he took several wrong turns on the way. He alleged the driver was annoyed with him because he asked for a receipt for the trip -- and he was told to get out, which he refused.

Judge Clare Leonard found Arnold guilty of the charges.

Defence lawyer Rory Staines said Arnold had three children with his partner, and was out of work.

He is on a lot of medication, and he doesn't get out that often as he can't afford it, he said.

Judge Leonard said Arnold's behaviour was disgraceful.

hnews@herald.ie

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