Londonderry assault accused banned from taxis

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A man accused of attacking a female cab driver in Londonderry is banned from travelling in any other taxis, a High Court judge has ordered.

Mr Justice Weir imposed the prohibition as part of conditions under which Cathal Feeney was granted bail.

He warned the 28-year-old defendant: “You’re skating on thin ice.

“Keep clear of taxis. It doesn’t seem as if they agree with you.”

Feeney, originally from the Eglinton area but with an address at Meelmore Drive in Omagh, Co Tyrone, denies a charge of assault over the alleged attack in the early hours of December 28.

The 58-year-old taxi driver was said to have collected him from outside Altnagelvin Hospital’s accident and emergency department.

He asked her to take him to Eglinton but refused to get out when they arrived, prosecutors claimed.

It was alleged that Feeney then told the victim to drive him to a relative’s house on the outskirts of Londonderry before once again refusing to exit the vehicle.

During the incident the taxi driver was said to have lifted her mobile phone to contact police.

According to the prosecution Feeney lashed out at her, striking her repeatedly about the face.

She eventually drove the defendant to Waterside police station, the court heard. He got out and walked to a nearby car park where he was arrested.

The woman was said to have been left badly shaken, with her face heavily bruised and swollen.

Bail was opposed amid fears of possible reoffending.

But defence counsel Sean Doherty argued that if Feeney was not released he may end up serving too long in custody by the time any trial takes place.

Granting bail, Mr Justice Weir acknowledged police concerns.

The judge also imposed a night-time curfew, ban on alcohol and prohibited Feeney from entering Londonderry.

He told the defendant: “Don’t put a foot within the 30mph limits of Derry or you will be arrested.”