Taxi driver punched in the face

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS COURT -

A CAN­NON Val­ley man who vom­ited in a taxi and then punched the driver in the face has been or­dered to pay more than $1000.

An­drew John Cars­ley, 54, rep­re­sented him­self and pleaded guilty to com­mon as­sault in Proser­pine Mag­is­trates Court on Mon­day.

Po­lice pros­e­cu­tor Bern­hard Berger said it all un­rav­elled af­ter 10pm on June 4 when Cars­ley had caught a cab from Ju­bilee Tavern.

He had used the same cab around 5.54pm and took the driver’s num­ber for the re­turn trip.

On the way home to his Can­non Val­ley ad­dress, Cars­ley vom­ited on the floor of the taxi.

Af­ter stop­ping the car and hav­ing a short con­ver­sa­tion about the clean­ing bill, Mr Berger said Cars­ley be­came “ag­gres­sive” and punched the driver “once in the face with a clenched fist”.

The star­tled cab driver tried to push Cars­ley out of the taxi be­fore get­ting out him­self. Cars­ley also got out of the cab and the driver got back in and drove off.

Cars­ley went to the po­lice sta­tion on June 14 and took part in an in­ter­view where he said he couldn’t “re­call the events af­ter vom­it­ing”.

Mag­is­trate Ron Muir­head asked, “you prob­a­bly can’t re­mem­ber much of what hap­pened (then)?”

Cars­ley told the court he had been go­ing through some tough per­sonal cir­cum­stances and had been drink­ing heav­ily at the time.

“I just got ab­so­lutely plas­tered.

“It was silly and I would like to apol­o­gise to that gentle­man,” he told the court.

“I’ve (since) quit al­co­hol. I reckon it’s evil.”

Cars­ley said he had no prob­lems with the driver and wanted his phone num­ber for the re­turn trip.

Mr Muir­head or­dered Cars­ley to pay $500 com­pen­sa­tion to the driver for pain and suf­fer­ing, a fur­ther $150 for clean­ing the taxi and fined him $400 with no con­vic­tion recorded.

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