A DRUNKEN taxi passenger who punched the driver in the face as the cabbie opened the door to let him out has been put on a probation bond for a year.
Tulganbaatar Khorolsuren (44), who maintained he had no recollection of why he thumped the taxi man after failing to pay the €8 fare for the city centre journey, was put on probation after making a €200 charity donation.
He had admitted a charge of assault, but refused to accept that he had caused a dental injury to the taxi driver.
Khorolsuren, with an address at Capel Street, Dublin 1, had pleaded guilty to common assault on William Gallagher on August 10 last
Mr Gallagher brought the defendant from Dawson Street to Dominic Street on the night of the incident.
The accused refused to pay his fare and Mr Gallagher went to open the door to let him out. When he did so, Khorolsuren struck him on the side of the face.
The taxi driver shut the door and immediately drove the defendant 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 the defendant 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.
The defendant had been "quite placid and co-operative" once he was arrested, his barrister said.
Khorolsuren, a Mongolian national, was a furniture installer who was currently out of work with a leg injury.
He drank too much on the night and apologised for his actions.
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 hit me, he hit me a good thump," Mr Gallagher said.