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Saturday 25 January 2020

Taxi passenger dad avoids jail over shocking racist attack on driver recorded on dash cam

Clive Mason at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court
Clive Mason at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court

A man who racially abused and attacked a taxi driver has received a 20-month fully suspended sentence.

Father-of-two Clive Mason (43) claimed to be a garda while attacking the man and demanded that he get out of the car.

Mason presented himself to gardai after footage of the assault began to circulate on social media and news websites.

Mason, of The Close, Robswall, Malahide, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Malahide Road, Donnycarney, on April 21.

Detective Garda Andrew Fox told Dara Hayes, prosecuting, that Samuel Banjoko Johnson was originally from Nigeria and was a chartered accountant by trade. Mr Johnson became a full-time taxi driver as a result of the recession.

Det Gda Fox said on the date in question, Mr Johnson picked up the accused on Baggot Street and he asked to be driven to his home in Malahide.

Mason was shouting from the start of the journey, leading Mr Johnson to pull over and ask him to leave the car. Mason apologised, shook Mr Johnson's hand and the journey continued.

When the car had reached the Malahide Road, the accused asked Mr Johnson what his favourite position was.

Dash cam footage of attack on taxi man Samuel Banjoko Johnson
Dash cam footage of attack on taxi man Samuel Banjoko Johnson

Mr Johnson said he did not understand the question.

"Do you know your position, you are a n****r," said Mason.

Punch

Mason took off his seatbeat and jumped on the wheel, causing the car to turn to the left of the road. He began to punch Mr Johnson, catching him a couple of times in the face.

Footage taken from the taxi's dash cam was played before the court. During the attack, Mason can be heard saying "drive me home, you f**king n****r c**t" and claiming to be a garda while demanding Mr Johnson get out of the car.

Mason got out of the car and Mr Johnson locked all of the doors. Mason walked around to the driver's door and attempted to open it, kicking the door when he failed to do so.

Det Gda Fox said footage of the assault began to circulate on social media and news websites. Mason presented himself to a garda station the following weekend.

Mason has three previous convictions, including convictions for speeding.

Judge Martin Nolan said while there being a video is modern, "attacking and being racist is as old as the hills".

He said the case was mitigated by Mason surrendering himself to gardai, making full admissions, making an apology and taking steps to reform and rehabilitate himself.

Judge Nolan sentenced Mason to 20 months imprisonment, which he suspended on condition that Mason keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 20 months and follow all directions of the Probation Service for six months.

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