A taxi driver was attacked and racially abused by a passenger he had gone out of his way to help.
Stephen Maxwell of Dysart Road, Grantham, denied racially aggravated common assault, racially aggravated harassment and assault by beating but was found guilty of all three charges at trial.
The court heard the taxi driver was driving Maxwell when he began complaining about the fare, calling the driver a “f***ing b*****d”.
When Maxwell got out of the taxi he was told he owed £7.25 but handed over a handful of change which amounted to only £2.20.
When informed he was more than £5 short, Maxwell said: “You f***ing P**i b*****d. What are you doing here?
“I will smash your car and your face.”
The taxi driver was not paid the full fee but continued his shift. A couple of fares later a passenger found a mobile phone in the back of the taxi.
The taxi driver discovered it belonged to Maxwell and agreed to take him the phone later that evening but when he arrived Maxwell was still acting aggressively.
Marie Stace, prosecuting, said the taxi driver insisted the outstanding fare be paid first but Maxwell threatened to rip the taxi driver’s face off then punched him twice to the head through the open window. Maxwell grabbed his own phone and the taxi driver’s phone before throwing the driver’s phone back at him, striking him in the head.
The victim reported the assault to the police but the following morning the driver was in St Peter’s Hill when he was approached by Maxwell.
Maxwell asked why he had called the police yesterday, again called the driver a “P**i b*****d” and then punched him again through the open window. He then grabbed the driver’s glasses and threw them to the ground.
Miss Stace read a statement from the victim in which he said: “The incident left me upset, nervous and in fear of being attacked again.”
Bill Fraser, defending, said Maxwell continues to deny the allegations despite being found guilty at trial, adding that Maxwell suffers from “an aggressive disease that causes his bones to somewhat crumble”. Maxwell was on crutches in court.
Maxwell was given a suspended 26-week prison sentence and was told he must not contact the victim for 12 months.
Maxwell must pay £175 in compensation to the victim, costs of £100 and an £80 surcharge.