Christmas attack on taxi driver

CHRISTMAS day was ruined for one taxi driver when he was kicked by a drunken Felixstowe man and left with a bleeding eye.Richard Higgins came before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for sentencing for the assault which took place in the early hours of December 25 last year.

CHRISTMAS day was ruined for one taxi driver when he was kicked by a drunken Felixstowe man and left with a bleeding eye.

Richard Higgins came before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court for sentencing for the assault which took place in the early hours of December 25 last year.

He had pleaded guilty to kicking the driver at an earlier hearing last month.

Higgins, dressed in a black suit, was accompanied to court by friends and spoke only to confirm his name and address.

During the short hearing the court heard how Higgins, of Gosford Way had been drinking and said to the taxi driver," Smile it's Christmas" when he pulled up outside Bodrum Grill, Undercliff Road West in Felixstowe.

When the taxi driver ignored this he started shouting at him and calling him gay.

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The door of the taxi was then opened and he was kicked in the face and left with a bleeding and swollen left eye.

In mitigation Ian Devine said the 19-year-old was reckless but did not intend to kick the man.

He also told the court that Higgins could not remember much about the assault because he had been drinking so much alcohol before hand.

" He was pulled away by a friend and his leg went up in the air and kicked the taxi driver. This was a reckless act but he had no intention of actually kicking the driver and causing him injury," he said.

Higgins was given a community punishment order for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £125 compensation and £55 costs.

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