Woman who damaged taxi avoids going to jail
A DUBLIN woman who ripped the licence plate off a taxi and pulled back the windscreen wipers in a row over the fare has avoided jail.
Sheila Riordan (42) was on bail two days after the incident when she drunkenly refused to pay for a meal in a Thai restaurant and "lashed out" at an investigating garda.
She was put on a peace bond for a year at Dublin District Court on charges arising from both episodes after Judge Ann Watkin said her behaviour was "outrageous", but agreed not to jail her.
A condition of the bond is that she pays compensation and abstains from alcohol.
The court heard Riordan had a mental illness and was hearing voices telling her not to take her medication.
Riordan, of Malahide Road, Dublin, pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage at Camden Street last May 11 and a breach of the peace at Thai Orchard Restaurant in Westmoreland St on May 13.
The court was previously told Riordan got into a row with a taxi driver and ripped the front registration plate from the cab before "half pulling off" the wipers. Drink was involved and she was co-operative when arrested.
The court heard the driver had been able to continue using the wipers and had not fully costed the damage.
Two days later, Riordan was out on bail and having a meal while highly intoxicated in a restaurant. She refused to pay for it and when a garda was called, she "lashed out".
The court heard she had since paid for the meal.
Riordan suffered from severe psychiatric difficulties and had not been taking her anti-psychotic medication, her barrister explained.
Judge Watkin said whether the episodes were alcohol-induced or not, they had been exacerbated by drinking.