Dad battered cabbie with son's crutch
appeal: Attacker avoids prison term
A FATHER-of-one who used his disabled 10-year-old son's crutch to bludgeon a taxi driver in a dispute over a fare has avoided jail after promising to compensate the cabbie.
Paul Flynn (31) was drunk and crazed from "snow-blow" when he grabbed the crutch from his child and struck the taxi, then beat the cabbie about the head and face in front of the boy.
He had been given a six-month sentence at Dublin District Court but has now had that suspended on appeal.
Flynn had pleaded guilty to charges arising from the incident but appealed the severity of his sentence.
Judge Tony Hunt told the accused at the Circuit Court that he must pay the victim €600 within six weeks. He said Flynn's behaviour was "despicable," but suspended the sentence for a year. He also put him on probation for six months and told him he would be jailed if there was any repeat.
Flynn had been returning his son to the boy's mother's home following a family christening when the attack happened.
The terrified taxi driver suffered severe facial bruising in the assault at a north Dublin housing estate.
At the original District Court hearing, Judge Miriam Malone was told that Flynn went on to hurl abuse at gardai who came to investigate the incident.
Flynn, of The Hollands Avenue, Rheban Manor, Athy, pleaded guilty to charges of assaulting Thomas Donegan, using the crutch as a weapon, criminal damage, breach of the peace and public intoxication.
The court heard Flynn and his son had arrived in Larch Hill estate, Santry, in a taxi at 3.20am. They were returning from a Christening which had gone on all day at various different venues and Flynn had tried "snow-blow".
The dispute over the €10 fare arose while they were all standing outside the taxi.
Flynn took one of the boy's metal hospital crutches and began striking the taxi, denting and scraping it, causing €533 worth of damage.
He struck Mr Donegan several times on the side of the head and back, as well as hitting him on the bridge of the nose, causing it to swell up. He suffered bruising to his nose, head and cheekbones.
The victim left the scene and drove to Santry Garda Station, where he reported the incident.