herald

Thursday 16 August 2018

Bus drunk jailed for racist abuse

A DRUNKEN bus passenger who hurled racist abuse at the driver when he told him to stop smoking has been jailed for three months.

Declan Murphy (43) was sentenced after a judge said he had shown "ethnic prejudice" towards the driver.

Murphy denied the incident and claimed a garda who arrested him deliberately poked and pinched his injured shoulder.

Dublin District Court heard Murphy, of Cedarwood Road, Finglas, was in "constant pain" following a serious accident. He was convicted of public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at College Green on October 30.

The court heard Murphy, who had 29 previous convictions, was on a Dublin Bus when he caused a drunken disturbance. He also lit up a cigarette and when the driver pulled in and asked him to put the cigarette out, Murphy called him a "P**i bastard".

He told the court: "I may have had a cigarette in my hand but it wasn't lit."

He denied using any verbal abuse, saying he respected all bus drivers of "whatever nation".

He claimed that a garda who arrested him purposely started poking his injured shoulder and "pinched" him while he was in custody.



PAINKILLERS

He didn't know how long he was being detained for and when he asked for food, officers refused. He said a doctor who was called to the station would not give him painkillers.

Judge Cormac Dunne said the court had sympathy for the accused's illness, but the case had "nothing to do with" that.

"One can only speculate of the fear, upset and anxiety that passengers would have felt when confronted with this strong, robust individual in an enclosed environment in such a heavy degree of intoxication."

The judge said that once the bus driver stopped the bus for the safety of passengers, the accused "added insult to injury" by calling him a "P**i bastard".

He said this showed "racist and ethnic prejudice" against a hard-working busman.

aphelan@herald.ie

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