30 Jun 2022

No festive cheer for Longford taxi driver as Latvian man kicks out at car during drink fuelled row

Judge Seamus Hughes

Judge Seamus Hughes convicted a man after kicking out at a taxi during a drink fuelled incident in Longford over the Christmas period

A Latvian man who kicked out at a taxi during a drink fuelled incident in Longford town at Christmas has claimed he did so because its driver refused to drop him home.

Andis Leons (53), 10 Canal Green, Prospect Woods, Longford represented himself throughout last week’s hearing into a case which stemmed from an incident at Ballymahon Street, Longford on December 23 2019.

Sgt Paddy McGirl told the court on the date of the alleged offence, gardaí had been called to deal with reports of a male causing a disturbance shortly after 5:30pm.

He said Mr Leons was soon observed “roaring and shouting” at a taxi driver.

“The driver had stopped and came to his assistance and he (defendant) attempted to kick the vehicle.

“No damage was caused and gardaí arrested him before conveying him to Longford Garda Station.”

The court was informed Mr Leons was a Latvian man with one previous conviction and who had been resident in Ireland for the past 15 years.

It was put to Judge Seamus Hughes Mr Leons had, in fact, been intent on going home but was declined entry into a taxi which resulted in the incident.

Judge Hughes came to the defence of the taxi driver, saying that given that it was his property the vehicle owner was well within his or her rights to refuse entry if they felt a passenger was overly intoxicated or possibly at risk of getting sick.

Mr Leons was fined €250 for a Section 6 charge of engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour.

An accompanying Section 4 charge of being intoxicated in a public place was struck out.

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