A 34-year-old Maynooth dad who accused a Kildare County Council traffic warden of being racist has been convicted of threatening behaviour and two other offences.
The accusation of racism was denied.
At the Kilcock District Court sitting held in Naas on October 16, Fidel Kazimire, 64 Newtown Court, Maynooth, was convicted of threatening now former traffic warden, John Paul Casey and of intimidating him by holding up a golf club at him and “threatening to kill” him.
The incidents happened after Mr Kazimire stopped to let his children out of his car at Convent Lane, Maynooth just after 9am on November 28 2017.
After hearing lengthy evidence, Judge Desmond Zaidan adjourned the matter for a Probation report on Mr Mr Kazimire, with a view to restorative justice.
Mr Kazimire told the Court that he believed Maynooth based Mr Casey, who is no longer a Council traffic warden, and who, the Court was told is facing separate charges on other matters, was harrasing him. The defendant said he had complained to Kildare County Council about the incident.
Mr Casey told the Court that he had left the job as it was affecting his personal life when he was out socialising. He said Mr Kazimire had stopped in the middle of the road and when he (the warden) approached him he told him to “f.. off” and drove at him (but did not hit him).
“I was in fear of my life,” said Mr Casey.
Mr Casey said there was no question of racism.
While Mr Kazimire said he had received 10-20 tickets over time, Mr Casey said he gave the defendant, who works for Apache Pizza, one ticket before for parking on a path.
Mr Casey agreed with David Powderly, solicitor for Mr Kazimire, that he had no function in traffic management, but if someone was blocking traffic he would try and move them on.
He said he was directing the defendant to a parking space.
Mr Powderly suggested five cars in front of Mr Kazimire had let out children but Mr Casey said they had moved on and others were beeping at defendant.
The Court was told that during the incident, Mr Casey kicked Mr Kazimire's car four times but that in his statement to Garda Dan Broderick, he said he had “slapped” the car.
Mr Casey denied the first act of aggression was him kicking the car, stating that Mr Kazimire would have hit him in the bus space in which he was standing if that was the case.
Mr Casey said at one point he feared for his life.
Mr Powderly put it to him that Mr Kazimire felt that he had to take some means to protect himself but Mr Casey said the defendant was very aggressive.
Mr Casey denied that there was “a history” between them.
Mr Casey said he had given defendant a ticket before but had not been singling him out.
Mr Powderly put it to Mr Casey that he did not like Mr Kazimire and he was going to teach him a lesson.
Mr Casey denied this. He said he had given him two chances. Mr Casey said “only a mad man drives a car at you because you give him a ticket.” He said he did not kick the car until Mr Kazimire drove at him. He denied to Mr Powderly that he over reacted.
Mr Casey went on to say that he had now left the job. He worked as a warden in Maynooth, Leixlip and Celbridge for just under twelve months.
Paul Boothman, a school warden at Convent Lane, said he saw Mr Kazimire holding the golf club, which was taken from the boot of the car, up to Mr Casey.
Mr Kazimire, he said, was blocking traffic and he asked him to go to his car.
Mr Kazimire told the Court that he asked Mr Boothman if he saw the incident and the latter told him he did not.
Mr Boothman said that he did not see Mr Casey kick the car.
Garda Dan Broderick told how he took a statement but did not witness the incidents. In the statement Mr Kazimire said he did not hit Mr Casey and that Mr Casey had said to him “hit me.”
He said in the statement Mr Casey had given him ten tickets, something Mr Casey denied.
Garda Broderick said he did not imagine there was anything racist involved. He knew Mr Kazimire worked with Apache Piazza and was always pleasant.
Garda Broderick said there was a problem of parents abandoning cars and parking illegally in the area.
Mr Powderly put it to him that it was Garda job to direct traffic but Garda Broderick said a warden could be proactive if traffic was blocked.
Mr Kazimire said he told Mr Casey he could not give him a ticket as he was sitting in traffic.
He denied driving at the warden, who he maintained, left the job two weeks afterwards.