Man accused of taxi driver bottle attack refused bail

A taxi driver was caught around the neck by a backseat passenger who held a broken bottle to his neck, it was alleged yesterday during a bail application by the accused man.

Luke Lewis, who is from Youghal, was arrested by Detective Garda Stephen Fuller and charged with robbing taxi driver Joseph Walsh of €10 at Proby’s Quay, Cork City, on June 29.

The detective said the defendant was tracked down to a holiday home in Youghal and charged.

Inspector Ronan Kennelly said gardaí were objecting to bail being granted to the accused on the grounds of the seriousness of the charge and the fear that the accused would carry out further serious offences if granted bail.

Defence solicitor Daithí Ó Donnabháin, who represented Mr Lewis on free legal aid applied for Lewis to be released on bail.

Judge Olann Kelleher refused bail and remanded the accused in custody for one week.

On the question of having no fixed address, Mr Lewis, who is in his mid-twenties, said he could live with a relative at Blackwater Heights in Youghal, Co Cork.

“When I am in Youghal I am not going to be getting into trouble or nothing like that,” Me Lewis said.

He also said he would keep a curfew, sign in at the local garda station, and turn up in court when required.

Asked about the seriousness of the charge where he allegedly produced a broken bottle and threatened to produce a knife, Mr Lewis said: “I didn’t threaten him with no knife.”

As for evidence that he was a heroin addict and would carry out a similar crime to get money for drugs, he said he had been off heroin for the last fortnight.

Det Garda Fuller said the alleged incident occurred at 4.20am on June 29 when the taxi driver picked up a fare at St Patrick St for Mahon and the passenger sat in behind him.

“It is alleged that, during the course of the journey, he asked the driver to change course and bring him to South Main St,” Det Garda Fuller said. “The driver noticed that the passenger put something up to cover the lower part of his face, half way up his face.

“The taxi driver pulled in at Proby’s Quay and the passenger placed his arm around the taxi driver’s neck and placed a broken bottle to his neck.

“A struggle ensued and both men ended up outside the taxi. The taxi driver got in and tried to drive away. It is alleged the passenger got back in after him and again placed his arm around his neck and placed a broken bottle against his neck.

“The taxi driver managed to disarm him and he took the broken bottle. The passenger then allegedly said he had a knife and threatened to stab him. The driver threw two €5 notes back at him and he fled on foot.”


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