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Taxi driver attacker jailed

PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

A DRUNK who attacked an Ipswich Taxi driver has been jailed for three and half years.

Jonathan Field had taken drugs and had been drinking at the Racecourse Pub in Nacton Road, before he and a friend got into Michael McCullum's taxi.

A DRUNK who attacked an Ipswich Taxi driver has been jailed for three and half years.

Jonathan Field had taken drugs and had been drinking at the Racecourse Pub in Nacton Road, before he and a friend got into Michael McCullum's taxi.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Field became angry when Mr McCullum told him he could not get into his taxi holding a pint glass.

Field, 35, of Marlow Road, sat in the back seat being abusive and making threats such as "I'm going to smash your face in when I get out of this cab". Finally, the taxi driver had enough and fearing for his safety Mr McCullum stopped the taxi and opened the door for Field, ordering him and his friend to get out in Landseer Road.

Field then got into the driver's seat and attempted to drive off, the taxi driver grabbed Field by the collar and pulled him out of the car but Field got him in a headlock and demanded he hand over his money.

When Mr McCullum said he had no money Field said "I'm going to knife you, I'm going to kill you".

Rupert Overbury prosecuting said: " Field grabbed him round the throat and squeezed, Mr McCullum managed to get back into the taxi but not before the defendant smashed the door against the taxi drivers chest".

The court heard that Mr McCullum had undergone heart surgery in the past and suffered from angina.

Mr Overbury said Field eventually walked away and Mr McCullum was taken to hospital complaining of chest pains. He said Mr McCullum had lost his confidence since the attack and could no longer work at night.

Mr Overbury said Field had taken Methadone (a heroine substitute), an anti-depressant and about eight pints of beer before assaulting Mr McCullum, he said Field who has a record for violence initially denied the allegations but later pleaded guilty to assault with attempt to rob.

Richard Kelly mitigating said Field could not remember much about the incident, which happened in January. He said Field was "very remorseful" and "had not gone out looking for trouble".

Mr Kelly added that Field now realised he had a responsibility to his young son and had come off drugs.

Judge John Devaux said taxi drivers where generally vulnerable to attacks from people like Field and only a custodial sentence could be justified.


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