Circuit Court president Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said taxi driver Anthony Olajude, who had been following Fabian Wolasewicz closely with his taxi, had, perhaps entirely by accident, run over and injured his left foot.
Judge Groarke, awarding Wolasewicz €18,500 damages against Olajude, said there had been a very direct conflict of evidence between the two as to what had happened in September 2014, but he preferred the injured man’s evidence.
Mr Olajude, of Doire Beag, Oriel Rd, Collon, Co Louth, who denied driving over Mr Wolasewicz’s foot, claimed Mr Wolasewicz had been very drunk and had tried to run away when asked to pay the soilage fee. He alleged that Mr Wolasewicz injured his foot when he had fallen while running.
Mr Wolasewicz told the court he had been on a night out with friends in Harcourt St, Dublin, when they stopped Olajude’s taxi to go home to Arbour Hill, Dublin. His friends had left the taxi when he became sick.
He said he removed his shirt to try and wipe up his vomit and, following a request by Mr Olajude to pay a €140 fee, he had told him he did not have such money with him but had said if he came to his house at St Margaret’s Terrace, Arbour Hill, he would pay him.
Mr Wolasewizc told his barrister, Conor Kearney, that as he could not find enough money at his home he had told Mr Olajude he would go to his sister’s house nearby to get it. He said Mr Olajude was angry and had driven over his foot while following him in his taxi to his sister’s house.
He had been shirtless and in shock when he reached his sister’s home and had been taken by ambulance to the Mater Hospital in Dublin. His foot had been swollen and bruised and he had suffered lacerations to his knee and elbow when he had fallen. His sister had later paid the soilage fee.
Garda Killian Murphy from Bridewell Garda Station, said when he saw Mr Wolasewizc on the night he had noticed that he was “very intoxicated”.
Awarding Mr Walosewizc €18,500 damages, Judge Groarke said the fact that Mr Olajude had twice called gardaí showed, in the court’s view, that he had been getting more annoyed and thought Mr Walosewizc would manage to escape.