A Dublin jockey who punched a taxi driver in the face and tried to gouge his eye out said he is “horrified” by his actions and has sworn off booze.

Christopher Timmons pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Morehampton Road, Donnybrook on the night of July 24, 2016.

Timmons, with an address at The Pines, Castleknock, penned a letter to the court saying he was “horrified” by his own actions, especially as both of his grandfathers had worked as taxi drivers.

The 29-year-old, who has one previous minor conviction, said he no longer drinks alcohol. He brought the sum of €3,950 to court to cover the financial losses suffered by the taxi driver as a result of the assault.

Judge Karen O’Connor ordered a probation report and adjourned the case to April 13. She said that pending the outcome of the report, she will sentence Timmons to 200 hours of community service in lieu of 18 months in prison.

The court heard that Timmons had hailed a cab on the night and there was “some confusion” over the fare in respect of another person who was already in the taxi.

The taxi driver told gardai that Timmons became very aggressive, slammed the passenger door, punched the roof of the car and kicked the side door.

The driver then got out of the taxi and asked Timmons what he thought he was doing to him, before walking back towards his car.

Timmons then grabbed him from behind by his shirt, punched him in the face and was trying to “gouge his eye out” with his fingers.

A victim impact report prepared by the injured taxi driver said he suffered a financial loss of €3,941 and had since changed his job and had become a bus driver.

Judge O’Connor said Timmons’ behaviour was “out of character”. She noted he was clearly a talented jockey with an impressive employment record, who had shown remorse and cooperated with gardai.