Mocked taxi-driver bit off man’s thumb, trial hears

Lookman Kareem at court
Lookman Kareem at court yesterday. Picture: Courtpix

A taxi-driver allegedly bit off part of a man’s thumb after a group of passengers started laughing about his name, a trial has heard.

Lookman Kareem, of Glenvara Park, Knocklyon, pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Darren O’Connor and of assaulting Noelle Donohue at Rathmines on December 22, 2013.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday that Mr O’Connor and his girlfriend Ms Donohue were in Dublin city for Christmas drinks when they caught a taxi to Rathmines in the early hours of the morning. Two of Ms Donohue’s sisters, Stacey and Helena Donohue, were also in the taxi.

Elva Duffy, prosecuting said in her opening statement that Stacey Donohue started giggling when she noticed Mr Kareem’s first name on his taxi identification plate. The other passengers then joined in the giggling, the trial heard. “Look man” is a catchphrase of Ms Donohue, said Ms Duffy.

Mr Kareem allegedly became verbally abusive, the court heard. The prosecution alleges Mr Kareem took his identification card down and punched Noelle Donohue in the nose when she tried to grab it.

When the group got out of the car, Mr Kareem allegedly hit Noelle Donohue twice, before Mr O’Connor came to her aid, getting into a scuffle with the taxi-driver.

Mr O’Connor said he felt “excruciating pain” in his hand. “The top of my thumb was gone,” he said.

Conor McKenna, defending, put it to Mr O’Connor that they were abusive to Mr Kareem and that two of the women told him, “This is our fucking country, we can do what we like.”

Mr McKenna alleged Mr O’Connor, along with Noelle and Helena Donohue, dragged Mr Kareem out of the car and assaulted him. “Mr Kareem did not bite your thumb,” he said.

Mr O’Connor denied these allegations.

The trial continues.


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