Booze-binge cou­ple in vile at­tack on taxi driver

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By ASH­LIE BLAKEY ash­[email protected]­i­tymir­ @ash­lieblakey

A MAR­RIED cou­ple abused and at­tacked a taxi driver af­ter he mis­tak­enly picked up the wrong cus­tomer on New Year’s Eve.

Ste­wart Ben­son, 50, and Dawn Ben­son, 53, had been cel­e­brat­ing at the Green­brow So­cial Club in Wythen­shawe on De­cem­ber 31 last year.

The cou­ple left the club in the early hours and started an al­ter­ca­tion with a taxi driver who had ac­ci­den­tally picked up the wrong cus­tomers.

Dawn threw a punch at the driver, cut­ting his top lip, and Ste­wart, drunk on Jack Daniel’s whiskey, called him a ‘f ***** g P***,’ Manch­ester Crown Court heard.

In video footage of the in­ci­dent, a woman can be heard say­ing ‘you f ****** black c***, go back to your own coun­try.’ Af­ter hear­ing this, Judge Hi­lary Man­ley told Dawn she was ‘very for­tu­nate in­deed’ not to have been charged with a raciallyag­gra­vated of­fence.

When the taxi driver said that he was just do­ing his job, Ste­wart, a road sweeper su­per­vi­sor, told him ‘I’m tough, I was in a war’ and punched him again in his face.

His wife ripped the in­di­ca­tor and wiper stalk from his car be­fore the po­lice were called.

Ste­wart Ben­son, of Wood­land Drive, Le­ices­ter, pleaded guilty to one charge of com­mon as­sault and one charge of racially-ag­gra­vated ha­rass­ment.

Dawn Ben­son, of the same ad­dress, ad­mit­ted one charge of com­mon as­sault and one charge of crim­i­nal dam­age.

Ste­wart was jailed for seven-anda-half months, but his wife walked free from court af­ter be­ing handed a five-month sen­tence, sus­pended for two years, and 150 hours of un­paid work.

The pair, both in tears, em­braced in the dock be­fore Ste­wart was sent down.

Sen­tenc­ing, Judge Hi­lary Man­ley told the cou­ple: “The courts will not

Ste­wart and Dawn Ben­son

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