Taxi driver ran down man who failed to pay fare

David Ryan expresses regret over incident in which he ‘snapped’ and pursued passengers who left without paying

David Ryan leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photograph: Collins Courts

David Ryan leaving Dublin Circuit Criminal Court yesterday. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A taxi driver “snapped” and ran down a passenger who left the taxi without paying the fare, the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin was told.

David Ryan (56) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to dangerous driving causing serious bodily harm to Eoin Daly at Carysfort Park, Blackrock, Dublin, on April 7th, 2011.

Garda Geraldine McManigan told barrister Paul Carroll, prosecuting, that the victim suffered fractures to his ankle, which had affected his ability to play rugby at senior level in university.

Medical reports stated his injuries left him with a 20 per cent greater risk of developing arthritis, but that this should have shown up in a two-year period after the injury and had not developed.

Mr Daly was on crutches for months but had since gone back to playing rugby.

Flashbacks In his victim impact report he accepted he was wrong to run away from the taxi and was embarrassed by that.

He suffered flashbacks and had spent €4,492 on physiotherapy.

Judge Patricia Ryan adjourned the sentence until July next to clarify if restorative justice would be appropriate.

Ryan of Linfield Park, Clondalkin, had picked up Mr Daly and another passenger at about 3am.

He drove them to the Carysfort Park area and the two passengers then ran from the taxi without paying the fare.

The taxi driver drove his car onto a footpath and across a park, swerving from side to side. Mr Daly said Ryan was driving so fast that the other man had to jump into a garden to avoid being hit.

Hot pursuit A witness from a nearby house described seeing one man running across the green with a car “in hot pursuit” and said the driver was trying to block the men off by repeatedly driving in front of them.

The car hit Mr Daly and he fell to the ground. Ryan got out of his taxi and stood over him and started gesticulating and arguing with him about the fare before driving off.

Gardaí arrested Ryan two weeks later and he admitted there had been an incident. He denied knocking the victim down and said Mr Daly had fallen down.

Steven Dixon, defending, said his client was a father of four who had worked as a taxi driver for the last two decades.

During this time he had been abused, attacked and assaulted, and in 2010 a man had smashed him in the face with a can in order to evade a fare, counsel said.

He said his client was under severe financial difficulties at the time, with a crippling mortgage and credit card debt.

Counsel said Ryan snapped on the night and did something dangerous to get his fare.

“He is saddened and disgusted with himself. There is no excuse,” said Mr Dixon.