Taxi driver biter told by the sher­iff - ‘You have been warned’

The Oban Times - - News/feature -

AN OBAN taxi driver is to re­ceive com­pen­sa­tion af­ter a cus­tomer bit his leg and left the car with­out pay­ing a £6 fare.

Dar­ren Clark of Mill­brae, Bunes­san, on Mull, ad­mit­ted the as­sault at Oban sher­iff court on Tues­day af­ter a drunken night out in the town on May 29 of this year.

The 18-year- old fish­er­man asked the driver to take him to Dun­beg, be­fore chang­ing his mind and re­quest­ing he be taken to a party else­where in the town.

Half­way through the jour­ney, Clark stopped the driver and paid him just £2.60 of the £ 6 fare.

Procu­ra­tor fis­cal Eoin McGinty told the court: ‘ When asked for the fare Dar­ren Clark then leant across and bit the taxi driver on his left knee.

‘The driver then hit him on the back of the head to make him stop, then the ac­cused punched him on the face.’

But that wasn’t the end of Clark’s trou­ble­mak­ing, as he then ar­rived at the wrong flat and forced his way in to a stranger’s home, be­com­ing ag­gres­sive and push­ing both him and his neigh­bour to the ground. Clark pleaded guilty to be­hav­ing in a threat­en­ing and abu­sive man­ner and a fur­ther two counts of abu­sive be­hav­iour for the sec­ond in­ci­dent.

De­fence so­lic­i­tor Ed­ward Thorn­ton said: ‘It was only when the taxi stopped he re­alised he only had £2.60 He said he would go to a nearby cash point and would even leave his phone as an as­sur­ance that he wasn’t go­ing to run away.

‘He then went to the wrong flat in his drunken be­fud­dle­ment. He ac­cepts full and com­plete re­spon­si­bil­ity for his be­hav­iour.’

Sher­iff Ruth An­der­son, QC, or­dered Clark to pay £250 com­pen­sa­tion to the taxi driver and fined him £ 800. She said: ‘No­body should have to put up with this in the course of their em­ploy­ment. You’re on the edge of los­ing your lib­erty and my ad­vice to you is to stop drink­ing un­til you are old enough to know how to be­have. You have been warned.’

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