Man jailed for attack on female taxi driver in Derry

Derry Magistrates Court

A man who was described by a judge as 'a violent thug' has been jailed for 24 weeks for an assault on a female taxi driver in Derry in December.

28 year old Cathal Patrick Feeney of 60c, Meelmore Drive in Omagh admitted assaulting the woman on December 28th, after twice refusing to get out of her taxi.

She had picked him up at the Emergency Department at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The court was told that Feeney asked to be brought to Eglinton, but refused to leave the cab. She drove to the local police station, but it was closed.

He then asked to be taken to Tamnaherin, and when he refused to leave the cab, the 58 year old driver reached for her mobile phone. Feeney punched her numerous times on the side of the face.

She then drove to the Waterside police station but it was also closed.

Feeney left the vehicle, and was found by police a short distance away.

Defence solicitor Mr. Seamus Quigley said that the only thing could be said for his client was that he had spared the woman the necessity of giving evidence. He added it was a 'sad' reflection on the times that the woman had driven to two police stations only to find them closed.

District Judge Barney McElholm said that Feeney, who has 63 previous convictions, was 'a violent thug' whose vicitims were 'usually female.'

He added that if he had his way Feeney would not be walking the streets for a long time.