Belfast Telegraph

Belfast man attacked taxi after drink spiked, court told

By Alan Erwin

A passenger who threw a recycling box at a taxi acted after his drink was spiked, a court heard.

Riobard Allen's lawyer said he has no memory of damaging the Mercedes car during a trip in Belfast.

The 22-year-old, of Bryson Street in the city, was given 75 hours community service and put on probation for 18 months.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard he was abusive and threatening to the taxi driver after being picked up in the Madrid Street area on May 28.

Prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd said Allen then got out, lifted a plastic recycling box above his head and threw it at the car, striking the bonnet.

As the driver left the scene amid fears of being assaulted the box was hurled at his vehicle again.

Allen was convicted of common assault and two counts of criminal damage to the Mercedes and a police car following his arrest.

District Judge was told he has no recollection of the events, but apologised for his behaviour.

As well as having taken drugs, a friend had spiked his drink with a legal high.

A defence lawyer also disclosed that Allen has been assessed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to an earlier paramilitary attack.

Passing sentence, Judge Bagnall further ordered him to pay £100 compensation for the damage to the taxi. ends

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