'Abuse taxi drivers, you won't walk free' - judge
A judge has warned that anyone guilty of abusing a taxi driver is not going to walk from his court without a conviction.
Judge Conal Gibbons made the remarks at Balbriggan District Court when a case came before him of a young man who verbally abused a taxi driver and then broke the wing mirror off his car.
Chef Stanislavs Krescenko (22) was on a night out with friends in Balbriggan last year when he got into a taxi at around 3.10am.
An argument broke out between the defendant and the driver, resulting in Krescenko damaging the wing mirror.
No injury was sustained by the taxi driver, the court heard.
Krescenko, of Cardy Rock Road, Balbriggan, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the taxi's wing mirror on Drogheda Street in the town on December 23, 2016.
He has no previous convictions.
"I haven't met many people who bust up a taxi driver's wing mirrors," said the judge.
"Taxi drivers have a difficult enough job driving at times when no one else is around and things can happen to them.
"Taxi drivers perform a public service and people out socialising need taxis so they aren't tempted to drink and drive home.
"This taxi driver was out doing his job and was accost- ed by this young lad full of drink."
Defence solicitor Fiona D'Arcy told the court that the way the defendant had behaved "was completely out of character".
"He drank heavily that night and has never been in trouble before and no trouble since," she said, asking the judge to leave Krescenko without a conviction.
However, the judge said he had to take into account the seriousness of the offence.
"I wouldn't be happy just to give him a slap on the wrist," he said. "I'm not going to allow people to walk from court for abusing taxi drivers."
He fined Krescenko €100 and fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal.