Two men who were involved in an incident at a taxi rank in Castlebar, on December 14 2009, where Judge Mary Devins found both guilty of assault, appeared at this week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court for sentencing.
The case, which was heard at a previous sitting outlined that Andrew Morris, 35 Castlegrove East, Castlebar, approached a taxi on Bridge Street after 2am, which was being driven by Morris Agboerha, 52 Chestnut Grove, Castlebar. Morris was told the fare would be €15 and Morris tried to bring the price down to €10. When Agboerha said that this could not be done, Morris remarked to him that he had seen him on a Prime Time Investigates programme into social welfare fraud and said that he would not pay him €15 as he had “took enough off this country”. Morris claimed that the taxi driver “flipped” and swung the car door open, which caught the side of Morris’ head and Morris was then pinned against a wall, where Morris said that he was hit three or four times in the head.
Agboerha said that Morris came up to his car and straight away mentioned the Prime Time programme. The taxi driver said that Morris then hit his car a number of times and struck Agboerha on his lip.
Judge Devins said that Morris, “in his very drunk state”, decided to take on the role of an investigative journalist based on what he had seen or had heard about the Prime Time programme. The judge found both men guilty of assault.
The case was adjourned to this week’s sitting for sentencing. Judge Devins heard that neither men has come to the attention of gardaí. The judge directed that both men contribute €300 to the Western Care Association.