A jockey who punched a taxi driver in the face and tried to gouge his eyes has had his community service reduced because his hours of work and study are so extensive.

Christopher Timmons, 29, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm to the taxi driver at Morehampton Rd, Donnybrook on 24 July 2016.

At a previous hearing, a prosecuting garda said that after confusion over a taxi fare, Timmons slammed the passenger door, punched the roof of the car and kicked the side door.

When the driver got out, the defendant grabbed him from behind, punched him in the face and tried to "gouge his eyes out" with his fingers.

Defending barrister Brian Storan told the court that Timmons is so busy with work and study that a probation service report found he did not have time to complete 200 hours of community service.

"He is willing, able and anxious to carry it out, but is not in a position to do so," Mr Storan said.

Judge Karen O'Connor reduced Timmons' community service from 200 hours to 80, noting he had brought €3,950 to court to compensate the taxi driver he assaulted.

She said Timmons, who has one previous conviction, must give priority to his community service, and added he had behaved in a very aggressive manner.

Timmons, of The Pines, Castleknock, Dublin, wrote a letter to the court saying he was horrified by his own actions, especially as both his grandfathers had worked as taxi drivers.

He said he has given up alcohol as a result of the incident.

At a hearing in February Judge O'Connor said Timmons was more useful to society completing community service rather than being jailed.

She said 200 hours was appropriate, pending the completion of a probation service report.

In a victim impact statement, the injured taxi driver said he suffered a financial loss and had since changed his job and become a bus-driver.

Judge O'Connor said testimonials on behalf of Timmons suggested that this was "out-of-character" behaviour.

She said he has completed a third-level degree, works as a jockey and is now addressing his alcohol issues.

The judge said Timmons was clearly a talented jockey with an impressive employment record, who had shown remorse and co-operated with gardaí.