A software engineer who drank too much after a funeral and kicked a taxi driver's door when he was refused entry to the vehicle has avoided a conviction after he paid for the damage.
John Delaney (34) caused a total of €1,575.75 worth of damage to the rear passenger door of the vehicle, Swords District Court heard.
Delaney, who is married, was seen intoxicated on Main Street, Swords, early last November 4.
On seeing the defendant drunk on the street and approaching his vehicle, the taxi driver locked his car doors and refused Delaney entry, the court was told.
The defendant then started kicking a door, which caused the damage.
Gardai were then called to the scene and the defendant was pointed out to them as the person responsible, the court heard.
The defendant, of Usher Park, Knocksedan, Swords, pleaded guilty last November 19 to causing criminal damage to the rear door of the taxi on Swords Main Street.
He had no previous convictions.
His solicitor told the court the defendant has "profusely apologised" for the damage.
The 34-year-old, who works as a software engineer, depends on a visa to travel internationally to America for work, his solicitor said.
He added that a conviction would not help his career and would put his livelihood in jeopardy.
"He was at a funeral and drank six or seven drinks and this is what happened," the solicitor said.
"It was wrong and he apologises. He is hanging his head in shame."
The solicitor said the defendant had paid for the damage in full and had further money for the taxi driver if it was possible that the court would deal with the case in a lenient way.
Judge John Brennan said the offence was "very serious".
"Sometimes taxi drivers talk when you don't want to talk late at night, but this is extreme," the judge said.
"There were no excuses and he had too much to drink, but the carry-on is totally un- acceptable.
"However, he did apologise and it was clearly a once-off."
The judge said that because the defendant had no previous convictions, co-operated, apologised and had compensation to offer the taxi driver, it would be unduly harsh to give him a conviction.
Judge Brennan ordered the defendant to pay an additional €300 to the taxi driver as a "token gesture".
Once the money was handed over, he struck out the case.