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Man sentenced for ‘volley of abuse’ against London cabbie

Man sentenced for ‘volley of abuse’ against London cabbie

Categories: Latest News

Friday November 18 2016

The Sun reports on the suspended sentence handed to a communications worker after he subjected a London cabbie to a “volley” of racist abuse following a drunken night out.

Thomas Ertman, 25, had drunk “a gallon” of cider on the night of the incident.

Camberwell Magistrates’ Court heard Ertman was out with friends in London Bridge on the night of 26 August, 2016. He hailed a cab on Borough High Street at around quarter past 10 but when he got into the car, the driver, Abderrahman Benkacem, noticed Ertman “punching and head-butting the window and stamping on the floor.”

Mr Benkacem told Ertman to desist and ordered him out of the cab but Ertman insisted on being driven home. Mr Benkacem instead headed for Kennington Police Station.

While driving him to the police station Mr Benkacem was subjected to a tirade of abuse by Ertman who shouted at him “You f***king Arab, You f***king Syrian.”

“If this was east London I would stab you.”

Ertman also told Mr Benkacem “You do not deserve to be in this country, you f***king Arab c**t.”

Ertman continued the abuse telling Mr Benkacem “Why are you driving a black cab?”, “No one wants you here”, “This is England.”

The court heard Ertman could not remember making any remarks that could be considered “discriminatory or racist” and argued it was “just the alcohol talking”.

Ertman admitted causing racially/religiously aggravated intentional harassment.

District Judge Timothy Stone sentencing Ertman said: “This was a tirade and volley of abuse. This is racially aggravated and will be dealt with very seriously.”

Judge Stone told Ertman his behaviour would not be tolerated and was “entirely unacceptable in modern society”.

Judge Stone also said “A message needs to go out to every corner of our society that language of that kind will not be tolerated.”

However, the judge deferred passing a custodial sentence, instead imposing a suspended sentence with a community work requirement.

Judge Stone sentenced Ertman to 12 weeks, increasing it from eight weeks on account of the racial element, but suspended the sentence for 18 months.

Mr Ertman was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £350 compensation to the victim, £115 victim surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.


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