Romanian taxi driver on trial for sexual assault

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court (Stock photo)

A taxi driver sexually assaulted a young woman as he was bringing her home from a city centre pub, it has been alleged at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Augustin Ion (49) denies the allegation and claims the woman was extremely drunk and aggressive. He told gardaí she was making the allegations because he had threatened to call gardaí when she refused to pay the fare.

Mr Ion of Garrynisk Square, Tallaght, Dublin and originally from Romania has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman outside her home on the night of November 20, 2014.

A jury will begin deliberating today after the one day trial.

The woman told Eilis Brennan BL that she was in a city centre pub with friends where she had one red wine and four or five vodkas over the course of about five hours. She said she left at about 11.30pm because she had a headache and was in work the next day.

She lived about five minutes walk away but decided to get a taxi because she didn’t want to walk alone down dark alleyways, she told counsel.

She said she got in the front of the taxi out of habit because she was from the country where that was the done thing.

She said she was holding her head and told Mr Ion she had a headache. She alleged Mr Ion started rubbing her neck as they stopped at the traffic lights. She told him she was fine and he continued to drive.

The woman alleged that when they reached her house he started rubbing the back of her head and kissed her on the side of the face. She said he grabbed her breast and asked her if she wanted to get in the back seat. He also asked her if he could come inside with her, she said.

The woman said she “froze” and told Mr Ion she had to go. She said Mr Ion told her “just wait five minutes” before holding her head back against the seat rest.

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