A DRUNKEN taxi passenger who refused to pay his €8 fare punched the driver in the face as the cabbie opened the door to let him out.
Tulganbaatar Khorolsuren (44) had no recollection of why he thumped the taxi man after failing to pay the fare for the city centre journey.
The case against him was adjourned after he admitted a charge of assault, but he refused to accept that he had caused a dental injury to the taxi driver in the attack.
Khorolsuren, with an address at Capel Street, Dublin 1, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault when he appeared in Dublin District Court.
The assault happened after the taxi driver, William Gallagher, brought the defendant from Dawson Street to Dominick Street on the night of the incident, August 10 last.
Khorolsuren refused to pay his fare and Mr Gallagher went to open the door to let him out.
When he did so, Khorolsuren struck him in the side of the face.
The taxi driver shut the door and immediately drove Khorolsuren to Mountjoy Garda Station. He was "very drunk" at the time of the incident.
"He hadn't a clue what he was doing but at the same time, he hit somebody," Judge Ann Watkin said.
The court heard Khorolsuren had previous convictions for failing to appear in court as well as a public order offence.
Judge Watkin said his previous offending had escalated to the point where he had hit somebody.
Khorolsuren had been "quite placid and co-operative" once he was arrested, his barrister Suzanne Fleury said.
The Mongolian national was a furniture installer who was currently out of work with a leg injury, having fallen on ice in December
He drank too much on the night and apologised for his actions.
"He is very ashamed, he doesn't remember it," Ms Fleury said.
The injured party said he had a loose tooth from the assault and had not been able to afford to go to the dentist yet.
"When he got into the taxi I didn't realise how drunk he was," Mr Gallagher said. "When he hit me, he hit me a good thump."
Khorolsuren initially refused to compensate the victim for the injury. Judge Watkin then remarked that Mr Gallagher wanted the money donated to charity. The case was adjourned for a month.