Jail sentence for assaulting taxi driver

The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.
The courthouse at Bishop Street, Derry.

A man who assaulted a taxi driver was given a seven month jail sentence when he appeared before Londonderry Magistrates’ Court.

District Judge Barney McElholm was told that the defendant, James Nash, had used a vodka bottle during the incident.

Nash, with an address at Altcar Park in the Cityside, pleaded guilty to a charge of common assault and one of attempted criminal damage. They relate to an incident on April 11, last year.

On hearing the evidence in the case, District Judge McElholm described the assault as “an unprovoked and unwarranted attack on an innocent man” and the 29-year-old defendant has shown “not one smidgen of remorse” for it.

The prosecution told the court that Nash had telephoned for a taxi to come and collect him.

When it arrived he brought a vodka bottle into the car with him.

District Judge McElholm heard how Nash turned the radio up full blast and was violently waving his arms about and shouting during the journey and, once they arrived at the destination, Nash hit the driver on the left hand side of his face with the bottle. He then attacked the driver with closed fists.

Nash also attempted to hit the bottle on the car, but it smashed.

Defence counsel Steven Mooney said some degree of summary judgement had been dished out by the injured party, as both men had sustained scratches in the struggle.

Jailing the 29-year-old, the judge said this was an absolutely disgraceful attack.