Garda Acquitted of Theft and Assault in Taxi Row

Garda charged with silly offence

If there was a video of what Garda Pádraig Dennehy did, we’d all be cheering and clapping.  Somebody might even put it on Facebook.

He thought the cop would take his side but you won’t believe what happened next.

What did happen?

Rimas Bastys, from Lithuania, a place where the police are famously approachable and honest (not), got into the cab of Mr Nadeem Mirza.  The place was O’Connell Street in Dublin and his destination was Blanchardstown.  For reasons best known to himself, Bastys got it into his head that the driver was going in circles to inflate the fare, so he jumped out of the cab at Parnell Square and approached Gardai, who happened to be diverting traffic from the scene of a collision.

He was drunk. He accused the taxi driver of cheating and Garda Pádraig Dennehy took time out of his assigned task to sort out the problem, which he did very effectively by taking Bastys’s wallet, removing a ten-euro note, handing it to the driver and returning the change to Rimas Bastys along with a receipt.

The evidence is that he then told Bastys to fuck off, which I sincerely hope is true.

Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that he slapped Bastys in the face, kicked him up the arse or pushed him into a giant custard pie but again, although I wish it were so, that’s not what happened.

Instead, the Garda Ombudsman Commission investigated a complaint from Mr Bastys, and then the DPP prosecuted the policeman for the theft of €6.25.


I’m glad to say that the matter was finally settled today when the District Court kicked the case out.

This is a story of a good practical cop doing his job with the minimum of fuss.  He stole no money.  He just paid the driver, Mr Mirza, and he gave Bastys his change, along with the receipt that proved the taxi had not travelled anywhere near as far as the drunken complainant imagined.

Do we need this kind of thing when there are genuine issues about the Gardai we need to be addressing?  When we have so many examples of genuine abuse of power, do we need our cops to be worried about petty unfounded accusations?

Do we need police who are reluctant to intervene informally in any minor dispute for fear they might find themselves in front of a criminal court?

To my way of thinking, Pádraig Dennehy is the kind of cop we need on the streets and the last thing we want is to kill his initiative with this sort of trivial prosecution, but unfortunately he’ll probably think twice before he gets involved with the next drunken loudmouth.



12 thoughts on “Garda Acquitted of Theft and Assault in Taxi Row

  1. Well said, Bock. In fact – this is one of the few cases I’ve heard of where a Guardian of the Peace did exactly what his job said – stopped a potentially unpeaceful incident before it even occurred. Pity now he’ll probably end up reassigned to BallyMcShitehole for the rest of his career.

  2. Are ye taking the piss?

    I wouldn’t take too kindly to a Garda forcefully removing money from me.
    I’d be pretty sure he didn’t follow guidelines.

    They’re not supposed to decide on culpability with this type of dispute.

  3. Fortunately we don’t yet convict people for criminal offences in this country on the basis that some comment-writer is pretty sure that some guideline must have been broken. None of the court reports that I’ve seen so far have mentioned that he didn’t follow guidelines. And even supposing he didn’t, in an incident as trivial as this that would seem to be a case for at worst an internal reprimand (or preferably a re-writing of the guidelines to something more sensible), not a criminal prosecution that would have destroyed his career if he had come up against a less wise judge.

  4. “which he did very effectively by taking Bastys’s wallet, removing a ten-euro note”
    Guidelines in this case would be that a Gardai should not be involved in negotiating compensation.
    Breaking the law would be the theft bit.

    Garda guidelines are available online.

    I don’t think the DPP should have prosecuted myself considering the amount, but I hope it sends out a message.. don’t dare put your filthy grubby hands into anyone’s pockets, Garda or no Garda.
    In terms of assault, I would never advocate that and I’m sure that is illegal. Garda or no Garda.

  5. Regarding Dublin taxi drivers too.. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that there are some chancers up there either. Or do we have some taxi drivers in our midst who think they do no wrong?
    I’ve gotten fares to the same place, at similar times, and it’s varied between 15 and 25 euro for the same fare.
    I wouldn’t one to be arguing myself, but if the minute the bozo pulls off, he does a loop around O’Connell Street, you should have the right to tell him get stuffed.
    I doubt if you were looking for a free spin around the block, that you’d go approaching a Garda either.
    And I’d also doubt money gets removed from you without an eyelid being batted.

  6. Artemis,

    Who mentioned anything about the Garda ‘forcefully’ taking the money.

    Sounds to me like the drunk fool of a passenger can’t remember s#%t and thought the gardai were the people to annoy with his silly problem while they dealt with a traffic collision outside a national maternity hospital…

    GSOC again should be ashamed of themselves for carrying out such a pathetic investigation.

    Taking the word of an obvious drunk male over circa 5 sober people..

    Looks like a publicity stunt gone wrong for gsoc.

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