Man racially abused taxi driver

Craven Herald: The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court The defendant appeared at Skipton Magistrates' Court

A Cross Hills man racially abused a taxi driver following a night out drinking, Skipton magistrates heard.

John Smith, 46, tried to give the driver just half the £12 fare home from Keighley and when challenged, responded with racist language, the court was told on Friday.

The court heard Smith, a ground worker, had been out shopping for Christmas clothes to Keighley Asda, before being encouraged by a friend to go drinking.

He had drunk eight pints in just four hours and at around 1.30am on December 14 in Cooke Street, Keighley, had got into the front seat of the taxi.

The driver described Smith as very drunk and mumbling all the way back to Cross Hills. At his home, in Main Street, he was told the fare was £12.30, but that £12 would do, before he handed over just £6.

Smith, who admitted making off without paying and using racially aggravated abusive language, later told police he had been disgusted at his off the cuff comment.

In mitigation, John Mewies said Smith, who the court heard had a previous conviction for assault in 2010, was a single, hard working man who worked in the construction industry.

Mr Mewies said Smith only had £6 on him and no bank card and instead of going into the house to get payment, had acted wrongly.

“The following day, he expressed atonement and wished to apologise to the taxi driver,” said Mr Mewies.

Magistrates fined Smith £280 and ordered him to pay £56 compensation to the taxi driver, including £50 for injury to his feelings, £85 costs and a £28 victims surcharge.

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