'Very serious' assault had left taxi driver with fractured cheek, Cork court told

The judge refused jurisdiction saying it was too serious and was a matter for trial by judge and jury
'Very serious' assault had left taxi driver with fractured cheek, Cork court told

After picking up the accused at Kent Station, the taxi driver then went as far as Mitchelstown before being asked to go to Bishopstown where the assault is alleged to have happened. File picture: Denis Minihane

A taxi driver was allegedly attacked by one of his passengers in the Bishopstown area and left with facial injuries, including a fractured cheek.

The Director of Public Prosecutions decided that the case was suitable for summary disposal at district court level but the judge disagreed and said it was too serious and was a matter for trial by judge and jury.

Mark Beresford of 41 Gortataggart, Thurles, County Tipperary, was charged by Garda Daniel Murray with assault causing harm to 52-year-old taxi driver, Willy Lufuluabo, at Curraheen Road on May 1, 2021.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background allegations. The driver said he picked up a fare at Kent Station, Lower Glanmire Road. Two men got into the car and asked to be brought to Thurles, County Tipperary.

One of the men asked him to stop at Maxol in Tivoli before proceeding with the journey.

“On approaching Mitchelstown they requested to be brought back to an address in Bishopstown. He obliged. On arrival at Curraheen Road, one of them asked to stop and said this was not where they had asked him to go and that he now wanted to be brought back to Thurles.

“One of the men got out of the taxi and opened the driver’s door. 

He punched him in his face a couple of times causing his nose to bleed, bruising and swelling to the right side of his cheek and a fractured cheek.

Judge Colm Roberts said after hearing the outline of the allegations: “What is alleged is several punches to the face causing an alleged fracture and a range of damage. I am not sure I am going to accept jurisdiction. If that is what happened that is a very serious matter.” 

The judge then read the medical report on the taxi driver’s injuries.

Judge Roberts concluded: “I cannot accept jurisdiction. I refuse jurisdiction.” The judge adjourned the case until November 7. Daithí Ó Donnabháin was appointed as solicitor to represent Beresford on free legal aid.

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