Belfast Telegraph

Alleged Northern Ireland cab fare dodger threw her shoe at judge, court told

By Alan Erwin

A woman charged with non-payment of a £14 taxi fare threw her shoe at a magistrate after a previous bail refusal, the High Court has heard.

Prosecutors claimed Esther McKey took aim at the magistrate sitting in Lisburn before she was led away to the cells. The shoe failed to strike her alleged target during the incident on Monday.

Details emerged as the 20-year-old secured release from custody on conditions including a ban from the hotel where she allegedly took the cab ride to.

McKey, of Levallyreagh Road in Dromara, Co Down, faces a charge of obtaining services dishonestly.

She ordered a taxi from west Belfast to take her to the Premier Inn in Lisburn on October 7, the court heard.

Crown lawyer Robin Steer said: "On arrival when she was asked to pay the fare of £14 she opened her purse and said she had no money."

McKey was then taken to a police station over the non-payment.

Mr Steer went on to describe what allegedly unfolded during her first appearance at Lisburn Magistrates Court on October 9.

"There was an unfortunate incident when she was remanded in custody," he said.

"She took off her shoe and threw it at the magistrate, missing the magistrate."

At this stage no further charges have been brought over the alleged courtroom behaviour.

Despite describing McKey as a "nuisance to taxi drivers", Mr Steer confirmed that her renewed bail application was not opposed.

Defence counsel Patrick Taylor acknowledged episodes involving suspected non-payment.

"She seems to commit the same sort of bizarre offence over and over again," he said.

Lord Justice Stephens granted bail.

He ordered: "I exclude her from the Premier Inn in Lisburn."

Belfast Telegraph

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