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Man guilty of racial assault on taxi driver given community sentence

Man guilty of racial assault on taxi driver given community sentence

Categories: Latest News

Tuesday November 08 2016

The Gazette reports on a court case before Teesside magistrates’ court where an offender “dodged jail” after being found guilty of racially aggravated assault on a taxi driver in Middlesbrough.

 Christopher Brown, 36, was charged with racially abusing a taxi driver and assaulting him after a dispute arose about the fare.

Teesside magistrates’ court heard Brown had downed “six cans of lager” on the day of the incident.

 Brown had booked a taxi to drive him from Sadberge Road, in Bowesfield, Stockton to his home at Granville Road, central Middlesbrough, at about 3.10pm on 9 December 2015.

 The court heard Brown got into the taxi sitting in the passenger seat with a can of Carling, and asked the taxi driver to make an extra drop-off at his brother’s house in Norton.

 When the taxi driver told Brown the fare would increase as a result, an argument broke out.

 Brown called the driver a “P***” three or four times, before punching him in the mouth, causing the driver’s lips to bleed, and throwing the can of beer at him.

 The victim, who has driven a taxi for 30 years, gave evidence to the court via an interpreter. He said: “He swore at me and was making threats to hit me. I didn’t do anything, I kept driving.

 “We stopped at the traffic lights near the Station Pub on Bishopton Road West – I was nervous. As I approached the lights, he punched me. Bleeding started from my lip.”

 The victim said he then pulled the car up to the side of the road as Brown continued abusing him.

 “When he got out of the car, he threw the can [of beer] at me – it went all over my body,” the victim added.

 Brown denied using words of racist abuse and denied any knowledge of how the driver came to be injured. He admitted drinking six cans of lager and getting into an argument over the fare but said: “I wouldn’t hit anyone while they were driving.”

 District Judge Helen Cousins refused Brown’s version of events saying “No, I’m sorry, I accept what the taxi driver had to say.”

 Brown was handed a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £212 compensation to the victim as well as £150 costs.


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