A taxi driver allegedly bit off part of a man’s thumb after a group of passengers started laughing about his name, a Dublin trial has heard.
Lookman Kareem, of Glenvara Park, Knocklyon, Dublin, pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Darren O’Connor and of assaulting Noelle Donohue at Rathmines on December 22, 2013.
Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard today that Mr O’Connor and his girlfriend Ms Donohue were in Dublin city centre for Christmas drinks when they caught a taxi to Rathmines in the early hours of the morning.
Two of Ms Donohue’s sisters, Stacey and Helena Donohue, were also in the taxi.
Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting told the jury in her opening statement that Stacey Donohue started giggling when she noticed Mr Kareem’s first name on his taxi identification plate and the other passengers joined in.
“Look man” is a catchphrase of Stacey Donohue’s, Ms Duffy said.
Mr Kareem allegedly became verbally abusive, saying “Shut the f*** up, shut the f*** up, you Irish”, the court heard.
The prosecution alleges Mr Kareem took his identification card down and punched Noelle Donohue in the nose when she tried to grab it to make a note of it.
When the group got out of the car, Mr Kareem allegedly hit Noelle Donohue twice, before Mr O’Connor came to her aid, getting into a scuffle with the taxi driver.
Mr O’Connor told Ms Duffy Mr Kareem grabbed on to his leg. When he reached down to try and extricate his leg, he said he felt “excruciating pain” in his hand.