Man admits damage to taxi

A CABBIE felt degraded after he was spat at by customer Matthew Taylor, a court heard.Taylor, of Burrell Road, Ipswich, appeared before the town's magistrates where he admitted criminal damage after the spittle landed on the taxi seat.

A CABBIE felt degraded after he was spat at by customer Matthew Taylor, a court heard.

Taylor, of Burrell Road, Ipswich, appeared before the town's magistrates where he admitted criminal damage after the spittle landed on the taxi seat.

He also admitted assault by beating after the driver received a "light punch" to his arm.

Prosecutor Nick Jack read from a statement from the taxi driver which said he felt "degraded", "insulted," and "angry" after he was spat in the October 14 incident.

The statement went on to say: "The punch I received in my arm was a very light punch which did not hurt. I did not feel scared or threatened, but very annoyed."

Charles Riddleston, mitigating, told magistrates Taylor had been on medication when he drunk a couple of pints.

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He said: "He (Taylor) wouldn't say he was drunk but medication had a bearing on the way he acted.

"Alcohol mixed with medication does have the wrong results."

Referring to the punch he said Taylor leaned back to pick up some coins from the seat and held them out for the taxi driver. The cabbie came towards him and as he did so Taylor made contact with the victim's arm.

Mr Riddleston said: "A punch or a push is still an assault. He (Taylor) acknowledges the taxi driver was just doing his job and should not be abused while he was at work."

He read a letter from a housing association official who described the 33-year-old as "pleasant", "trustworthy" and "reliable." The court heard Taylor has not had alcohol since the incident.

Magistrates sentenced Taylor to a 12 month community rehabilitation order and six week curfew between 9pm to 6am.

Bench chairwoman Diane Hunt, told him: "We do take this matter very seriously.

"Taxi drivers have to be protected from beastly incidents like this. It is quite revolting to spit at anybody."

He was also ordered to pay the victim £50 for the assault and a further £50 to cover the costs of cleaning the vehicle.

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