A young man from Westmeath was convicted of criminal damage in his absence this week for smashing the windscreen of a taxi in Eyre Square.
Robert Donoghue (27), of O’Connell Terrace in Mullingar, was due for a hearing on charges of criminal damage to a Nissan taxi at Galway District Court this week.
He failed to appear for his hearing, but the case proceeded in his absence and a bench warrant was issued for sentencing at its conclusion.
Garda Mary Kilcommons told the District Court that on September 27 of 2018 she had started her shift at 6:45am when she received a call about a taxi driver who said that a man had jumped on his windshield and smashed it.
The garda controller told her that the young man in question had been captured on cctv on Eglinton Street before getting in a car at Woodquay and going out the Headford road.
Gardaí followed the car and stopped it on Bothar na dTreabh with males inside. One of the men, Robert Donoghue, matched the description given by the taxi driver and garda controller and was subsequently arrested.
The taxi driver in question gave evidence in court about this incident. He said that he was on the start of his shift in Eyre Square when two young men approached his car.
Robert Donoghue stood at the front of the car while the other approached and asked for a lighter. When he told them he didn’t have one Donoghue became aggressive he said.
The driver said that he took out his phone to call gardaí, which was when Donoghue jumped on his windscreen, causing severe damage, before running away.
The driver said that he followed them on foot to Eglinton Street and called gardaí when he saw them go inside a business there.
The garda he spoke with on the phone said that they could see the entire incident on cctv.
Damages came to €400 the court was told. This included several days where the driver was out of work while a replacement windscreen was shipped in, as the required model wasn’t in stock at the time.
Gardaí told Judge Mary Fahy that the entire incident had been captured on cctv, but as the accused was not in court to challenge their evidence Judge Fahy said there was no need to play it.