‘Vicious’ attack on Derry taxi driver

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66
Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A man with a history of violence against women has appeared in court charged with what was described as a “vicious and unprovoked assault” on a taxi driver in Derry.

28-year-old Cathal Feeney, from Meelmore Drive in Omagh, denies the offence.

The defendant is said to have attacked the 58-year-old woman outside Waterside police station on Sunday morning.

He was remanded in custody until January 22.

A police officer told the court that she strenuously opposed the defendant being released on bail.

She said the defendant had 63 previous convictions, many of them for assaults on women.

The officer said the taxi driver collected the defendant from outside Altnagelvin Hospital’s A&E department at 4am on Sunday morning.

He asked to be driven to Eglinton, where he is originally from, but when they arrived there the defendant refused to get out of the taxi.

The defendant then asked to be driven to a relative’s house in Tamnaherin but when they arrived there he again refused to get out of the taxi.

He again asked to be taken back to Eglinton but the taxi driver refused and lifted her mobile phone to contact the police.

The taxi driver decided to drive to the Waterside police station.

The defendant then lashed out at her, hitting her 10 times.

When the taxi arrived at the Waterside police station, the defendant got out and walked to the nearby Tesco car park where he was later arrested.

The taxi driver was taken to hospital and X-rayed. She has no broken bones but her face was heavily bruised and badly swollen.

The officer said that, when interviewed, the defendant said the taxi driver’s face was already bruised when he first got into the taxi and he denied any altercation took place with her.

Refusing bail, the district judge said the defendant’s version of events was nothing but a fairytale.