A ‘model’ cabbie who drove his car at a passenger after a row over a booking has walked free from court.
Abdul Aziz, 44, mounted the pavement in Smithy Street, South Shields, and came so close he caused the man fall onto his bonnet in the early hours of February 1.
It was heat of the moment. He acted in a manner he has never acted. He deeply regrets it.Vic Laffey, defending
Newcastle Crown Court heard in the build-up to Aziz’s rage, the victim slammed the cab door and is said to have kicked the vehicle before walking away when he was told it was already booked and he could not be taken where he
wanted to go.
CCTV footage shows the disgruntled passenger walk away and Aziz drive on to the path so close to where the man was standing that he stumbled forward onto the vehicle.
Aziz, who has been a cabbie for eight years, then drove away from the area.
He was arrested after CCTV operators reported what had been captured on camera.
The victim was traced, but did not wish to be involved in the prosecution.
Aziz, of Petworth Close, South Shields, admitted dangerous driving.
Mr Recorder Duncan Smith sentenced him to a community order for 12 months with 150 hours’ unpaid work, £200 costs, and a 12-month road ban with extended test requirement.
The judge told him: “Testimonials reveal to me you were the model taxi driver.
“It is a great sadness to see someone of that character riled so sufficiently to change character and use his vehicle as a weapon to scare someone.
“I feel for people in your situation, having to tolerate abuse from people, not doubt who let drink get the better of them and become abusive, either personally or racially or both.
“It is a sad reflection of our society.”
Vic Laffey, defending, said racial slurs and other taunts had become the “norm” for the cabbie, who would always just ignore it.
Mr Laffey added: “This night, there was an exchange inside the car, then the man got out, slammed the door and kicked the vehicle.
“It was heat of the moment. He acted in a manner he has never acted. He deeply regrets it.”
Mr Laffey said Aziz’s behaviour is likely to have cost him his career as a cabbie.
He said: “The chances of him ever getting a licence to drive a taxi again will be remote, if not nil.”