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Taxi driver allegedly sexually assaulted woman when bringing her home from night out

The woman said she feared he would drive away from her house with her in the car.

File photo of taxi sign
File photo of taxi sign
Image: RollingNews.ie

A TAXI DRIVER sexually assaulted a young woman as he was bringing her home from a city centre pub, it has been alleged at the Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Augustin Ion (49) denies the allegation and claims the woman was extremely drunk and aggressive. He told gardaí she was making the allegations because he had threatened to call gardaí when she refused to pay the fare.

Ion, of Garrynisk Square, Tallaght, Dublin, and originally from Romania, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the woman outside her home on the night of 20 November, 2014.

A jury will begin deliberating tomorrow after the one-day trial.

The woman told Eilis Brennan BL that she was in a city centre pub with friends where she had one red wine and four or five vodkas over the course of about five hours. She said she left at about 11.30pm because she had a headache and was in work the next day.

She lived about five minutes walk away but decided to get a taxi because she didn’t want to walk alone down dark alleyways, she told counsel.

She said she got in the front of the taxi out of habit because she was from the country where that was the done thing.

She said she was holding her head and told Ion she had a headache. She alleged Ion started rubbing her neck as they stopped at the traffic lights. She told him she was fine and he continued to drive.

The woman alleged that when they reached her house he started rubbing the back of her head and kissed her on the side of the face. She said he grabbed her breast and asked her if she wanted to get in the back seat. He also asked her if he could come inside with her, she said.

‘I was panicking’

The woman said she “froze” and told Ion she had to go. She said Ion told her “just wait five minutes” before holding her head back against the seat rest.

“I was panicking,” she said. “I kept thinking he was going to drive away with me in the car.”

She said the fare was between €6 and €7 and that she gave him €20. She asked him for €10 back and told him to keep the change before getting out. She noted his name and some of his registration before going into her house.

Defence counsel Gerard Charlton asked the woman why she gave the man a tip if she was so scared.

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“I just wanted to go, I didn’t want to aggravate him,” she responded.

Ion told gardaí in an interview that the woman was very drunk when she got into the car. He said when he asked her if she was going to be sick she responded ‘Fuck off and drive’.

He said when they arrived at the destination she didn’t have any money and told him again to ‘fuck off’. Ion said he threatened to call gardaí and the woman responded that she would call gardaí and claim that he trapped her in his car.

He said she then got out without paying. He did not call the gardaí because he was very busy with fares, he said.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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About the author:

Declan Brennan and Conor Gallagher

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