A taxi driver facing penalty yesterday, on a charge of punching a young woman on the nose in the height of a row about a fare, continued to deny the offence and indicated he would appeal a conviction.
Oba Olatoye Aladunjoye of Belmont Court, Rochestown, Cork, pleaded not guilty at Cork District Court to a charge of assault. Judge Olann Kelleher had heard the contested case previously and said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt the teenager was assaulted.
The judge had found the facts proved but, at the time, did not record a conviction. The judge had accepted the accused was under extreme provocation from another man, present that night. He had suggested to solicitor Joseph Cuddigan, previously, the defendant should consider gathering some money as a gesture of compensation.
However, yesterday, Mr Cuddigan said the taxi driver had not brought any such offer of compensation. Instead, he said, the accused wished to appeal the case to Cork Circuit Court.
Judge Kelleher proceeded to convict and fine the defendant €300.
The complainant, who had been 17 years old, was at home in Rochestown in the early hours of December 7, 2013 when her mother and her mother’s boyfriend returned home by taxi having been out drinking. It was disputed whether the teenager offered to pay the driver on behalf of her mother.
“I assumed that because my mother and partner had been drinking there could have been some fault on their part,” the teenager testified. She said the driver would not take the money. “He was screaming in my face. I put my two hands up. He punched me in the nose. I was in shock, I pushed him,” she said.
Aladunjoye, 49, said, “I never hit this girl. I never raised my hand to hit any of them. The man was hitting me.”
Insp John Deasy said the teenager had been sober and trying her best to sort out the situation.
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