A passenger sprayed a fire extinguisher in the face of a taxi driver moments before he and three other men fled the vehicle without paying the fare.
The assault which took place in Firhouse, Dublin, left the victim, who had recently undergone cataract surgery, in immense pain.
The court heard how the offender, 20-year-old Cian Hand, got in the taxi with three other young men in St Stephen’s Green. One was dropped off in Rathfarnham before the remaining three went on to an estate in Knocklyon. On arrival, Hand reached into the back of the vehicle and grabbed a fire extinguisher.
He then discharged it into the face of the taxi driver while the other two passengers ran from the vehicle. Hand then stopped spraying the fire extinguisher and ran from the vehicle without paying.
Hand was caught on CCTV and tracked down by police. Sergeant Kieran O’Neill confirmed that the victim had to receive treatment at the Ear and Eye Hospital but has since made a full recovery.
Hand admitted before at Tallaght District Court, to seriously assaulting a taxi driver and failing to pay a taxi fare. The incident took place on October 30, 2017.
Judge Patricia McNamara ordered a pre-sentence report and adjourned sentencing until February, the Herald.ie reported.
Hand had no previous convictions and has since turned his life around, studying business and finance at Rathmines College, his defence lawyer said.
Hand previously had a problem with pills and cocaine and had developed an autoimmune disease due to his substance abuse. The court heard that he was “highly intoxicated” at the time of the assault on the taxi driver.
On top of the pre-sentencing report, Judge McNamara also asked the Probation Service to investigate if Hand was suitable to complete community service.