Taxi driver racially abused by drinker

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A drinker who racially abused a taxi driver in Spalding must pay £25 compensation to his victim.

Paul Barbour (48) was also ordered to hand over the fare he refused to pay – £23 – and fined £160 with £85 costs and a £25 victim surcharge when he appeared before Boston magistrates yesterday (Wednesday).

Barbour, of Midsummer Gardens, Long Sutton, pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence by using words that were likely to cause Amjad Mahmood harassment, alarm or distress.

Nick Todd, prosecuting, said Barbour got a taxi from the rank in Spalding at about 1.50am on August 17.

He said Barbour was “obviously in drink”, having had six or seven pints during the course of the evening.

“He questioned the taxi driver, who I think is of Indian descent, as to the actual route that the taxi was taking and eventually refused to pay,” said Mr Todd.

The prosecutor said the taxi driver took Barbour to the police station and, during the course of the journey, Barbour directed towards him a racially abusive, two-word phrase.

Solicitor Andrew Goldsborough, for Barbour, said his client was “extremely nervous about the situation he faces today” and “disgusted and thoroughly embarrassed by his behaviour on that night”.

He said Barbour had been out with a group of friends and was expecting to get a lift home, but ended up taking a taxi.

Mr Goldsborough said Barbour fell asleep and at some point woke up in a location that was not particularly familiar and questioned the taxi driver, “a guy that was just doing his job”.

He said Barbour accepted the driver should not have been subjected to any form of abuse.

“He is thoroughly ashamed at his age of being before a court and wishes not only to apologise to the court but, if it was possible, he would wish to extend that apology to the taxi driver.”

Presiding magistrate Andrew Leonard said: “We have looked at this case and obviously it is racially aggravated and therefore it does accelerate it slightly up the scale.”