Taxi driver accused of biting off top of man’s thumb

Judge Bryan Smyth refuses jurisdiction meaning case to be heard in Circuit Court

A Dublin taxi driver is facing trial accused of biting off the top of a passenger’s thumb.

Lookman Kareem (47), with an address at Glenvarra Park, Knocklyon, D16, denies assaulting Noelle Donohue at Richmond Hill in Rathmines in Dublin on December 22nd, 2013 and a more serious charge of assault causing harm to her partner Darren O'Connor.

Dublin District Court Court heard a row a broke out when one of Mr Kareem’s passengers allegedly began giggling about his name.

At Dublin District Court on Monday, Judge Bryan Smyth refused jurisdiction, meaning the case will be dealt with at the higher level, in the circuit court. Mr Kareem has pleaded not guilty.


Heading to Rathmines

Mr O’Connor told the district court he had been socialising in the city-centre with his partner Noelle Donohue and two of her sisters. They were heading to a bar in Rathmines run by Mr O’Connor’s brother and they asked the taxi man to bring them there.

Mr O’Connor said his partner’s sister Stacey sat in the front passenger seat and when she noticed the driver’s name she began laughing.

Mr O’Connor alleged the taxi man started screaming “shut the f*** up, stupid Irish stop this”.

Mr O’Connor claimed the driver became more aggressive.

When the driver pulled in at the Rathmines Inn, Noelle Donohue tried to take a picture of his card which had his taxi number on it, Mr O’Connor alleged.

He then said the driver tried to retrieve his card and swung at her and hit her twice.

‘Excruciating pain’

Mr O’Connor said he tried to stop it, there was a scuffle, and they ended up on the ground. He said he felt an “excruciating pain” and “the top of my finger was off the top of my thumb”.

He alleged his hand was covered in blood and he looked around and found the top of his thumb before running to his brother’s bar.

He said he collapsed on the way but got up again and made it to the bar and asked for ice because “the top of my finger was bitten off”.

Rushed to hospital

He was then rushed to hospital by ambulance.

Defence solicitor Chris Horrigan said there may be another explanation and not necessarily a bite. The lawyer added his client said he did not do this.

After being furnished with medical reports on Mr O’Connor’s injury, Judge Smyth said he was refusing jurisdiction.

State solicitor Michael Durkan was granted an adjournment until June 29th when it is expected Mr Kareem will be served with a book of evidence and returned for trial.