'Social phobia' of Durrow man who punched taxi driver


'Social phobia' of Durrow man who punched taxi driver

A Durrow man who claimed his “social phobia” was the reason he punched a taxi driver to the face has paid €3,000 compensation to the injured party.

At last week's sitting of Portlaoise District Court, Conor Simms (24), with an address at 10 St Brigid’s Drive, Ballinakill, was charged with assault causing harm, at The Square, Durrow, on January 19 last.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that at the Square, Durrow, at 2.20am on January 19 this year, a taxi driver picked up two young women as a fare. The accused approached the driver and asked for a taxi to Ballinakill, to which the driver replied that he would take the women home and then return. The accused became aggressive and punched the driver to the left side of the head.

Sgt Kirby said the injured party was out of work for a number of weeks.

The accused had a number of previous convictions, including one for assault in 2008.

Defence, Ms Louise Troy said the accused had €3,000 compensation in court. She said the accused suffered with social phobia and had been out in a social situation on the night, which led him to become agitated.

She said he had huge difficulties working and was of very limited means. Ms Troy said the accused had apologised to the injured party a number of times since and he was deeply remorseful.

Judge Catherine Staines put the matter back for a victim impact statement before sentencing and directed the €3,000 be offered to the injured party.

The case was adjourned to December 5 next.