Taxi driver punched by man with no money

A taxi driver was punched in the lip by a Moldovan man who did not have money for his fare and tried to sell the driver a €400 phone for €25.

Alexandr Tabachnic, aged 46, of an apartment at Copper Gate, Anglesea Terrace, Cork, pleaded guilty yesterday to assault causing harm .

Inspector Adrian Gamble outlined the background to the case at Cork District Court yesterday.

“Shortly before 5am on December 27, 2015, a taxi driver called into Anglesea Street Garda Station.

“The driver said he picked up a fare on Evergreen Road who wanted to go to Greenmount. He didn’t know precisely where in that area.

“He [the passenger] showed him a box containing €400 phone and speakers. He said he would sell it for €50 and later said €25. The taxi driver refused several times.

“He pointed out a house at Gould St. He said he would drop in and get the money to pay for the ride.

“The driver agreed if the box could be left in the car until he returned with the money. He said he would call the gardaí if he did not return. The man became aggressive when there was mention of the gardaí. Suddenly without warning the driver received a blow to the upper lip from this man.

“About 30 minutes later the driver saw the same man on Bishop’s St. He drove behind him at a distance and called that gardaí. He identified him to Sgt Seán O’Donoghue at Grand Parade a few minutes later.”

The defendant also pleaded guilty to counts of shoplifting where he stole bottles of perfume from a number of pharmacies.

Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the defendant had a heroin problem at the time but was now clean, working part-time, and trying to get back into education.

Judge Aingil Ní Chondúin told the accused to bring €300 to court as compensation. “If he does that he gets a suspended sentence of eight months. Otherwise it is the real McCoy,” the judge said.

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