Man in court accused of racially abusing and attacking taxi driver
Defendant allegedly punched driver and shouted racial abuse, court hears
Clive Mason (42), of The Close, Robswall, Malahide, leaving court. He is charged with assault causing harm and endangerment of life, on 21st April 2019. Photograph: Collins Courts
A 42-year-old man is to stand trial accused of racially abusing and attacking a taxi driver in Dublin after a video of the alleged incident went viral online.
He was charged with assault causing harm to Samuel Banjoko Johnson, who is originally from Nigeria, endangerment of life and making off from a taxi without paying a €16.20 fare, at Malahide Road in Donnycarney.
It was alleged the driver was repeatedly racially abused and punched by a passenger he picked up on the night of Easter Sunday, April 21 last.
The Director of Public Prosecutions had directed “summary disposal”, for the case to be dealt with at district court level.
Judge Smyth was given an outline of the allegations for the purpose of a making a decision on whether to hear the case in the district court.
Garda Fox alleged that on April 21st, at 10.20pm, the defendant obtained the service of the taxi driver. He sat in the front passenger seat and during the course of the journey it was alleged he asked the driver what was “his favourite position, as in car position”.
‘Aggressive and angry’
The driver, Mr Johnson, did not understand and it was alleged the defendant then became “aggressive and angry”.
Judge Smyth was told the defendant asked, “Did he deny his position as a n****r, then called him a n****r on a number of occasions”.
The court heard he took off his seat belt and leaned over causing the vehicle to veer sharply into a bus lane.
The taxi driver stopped the car having avoided a collision. The court heard he received a number of punches to the left side of his face and it was alleged the defendant shouted “drive me home you n****r c**t”.
Garda Fox said the driver received soft tissue injuries and he furnished the court with a medical report.
Judge Smyth noted the report said he had been diagnosed with concussion. He went to his GP two days later and was referred to Beaumont Hospital, the court heard.
Defence solicitor Declan Fahy said a CT scan was not required by the hospital.
Judge Smyth said having heard an outline of the alleged facts and having considered the report and observations, he was refusing jurisdiction. He held it should be sent forward to the circuit court which has tougher sentencing powers.
The defendant, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, was ordered to appear again at the district court on September 11 to be served with a book of evidence.