Posted: 14.09.20 at 18:57 by The Editor
A MAN who attacked and racially abused a Crewe taxi driver has escaped jail.
Joseph James Parker leant into Muhammad Siddique’s taxi and struck him in the face before delivering a verbal volley of abuse, South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court heard.
The unpleasant incident has left Parker’s victim, who works for Westside Taxis, reluctant to return to work for the past six months.
Parker blamed his behaviour on drink and a misunderstanding over a beeping horn.
But magistrates, who suspended the defendant’s four-month prison sentence for 12 months, told him that his hate crime was committed “on a victim who was just trying to do his job”.
Prosecutor Debbie Byrne said the taxi driver went to Parker’s mother’s house at Hothersall Close in Crewe to pick up a fare. A woman who got into his taxi, asked him to wait because someone else was coming.
“When a man came out he (taxi driver) was asked if he could take someone else and Mr Siddique was asked to beep the horn. He refused but said the woman could do it, which she did three times,” outlined the prosecutor.
“When the defendant appeared he put his head in through the window of the taxi and slapped and punched Mr Siddique on the right cheek.”
As the driver called the police, Parker got into the back seat where he delivered a volley of expletives, including calling Mr Siddique “a bastard”, before screaming a racial slur at him.
Parker then climbed into the driver’s seat and began punching and kicking the door. When police arrested him they found a small amount of cannabis in his pocket.
He said he could not recall anything about the incident and admitted his behaviour was affected by alcohol as he’d drunk six to seven pints and some port.
In a victim impact statement, the taxi driver said that in his 10 years of taxi driving he had never fielded any complaints and always got good feedback from his customers.
He said he hadn’t been able to return to work since the incident in February this year and had been left “panicking and worried”.
Parker, 31, of Glover Drive, Willaston pleaded guilty to assault by beating as well as a charge of racially aggravated fear of violence. He also admitted possession of a Class B drug, with all the offences on February 11 this year.
Probation officer Mike Bolliver said the defendant suffered from autism and his medication had been increased since the incident.
Sam Fixter, in mitigation, told the court how the beeping of the horn may have been misconstrued.
“Unfortunately, his partner at the time thought it was appropriate to lean across and use the taxi’s horn. He assumed it was the taxi driver rudely keeping his hand on the horn as you would expect in Paris traffic or something, but it was outside his mother’s house late at night,” explained the solicitor.
Magistrates imposed a 12-week curfew on Parker stretching from 7pm to 7am and told him to undertake 20 RAR days (Rehabilitation Activity Days), including the ‘Thinking Skills’ programme.
He has also to pay the taxi driver £150 compensation as well as a victim surcharge of £122 and £85 court costs.
The offences meant he was in breach of a 12-month conditional discharge, but the magistrates chose not to take any action on that.