Passenger who broke taxi driver’s nose after row over fare gets community service

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A passenger who broke a taxi driver’s nose in a row over the fare has been given 240 hours community service.

Daryl Thompson, 28, must also pay £330 compensation for inflicting injuries and wrecking the victim’s glasses during the attack in Carrickfergus.

Thompson, of Higgins Court in the Co Antrim town, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he turned violent outside a food outlet at Victoria Road on January 6.

Prosecutors said the victim, a local taxi driver, told police Thompson had been a passenger who struck him twice on the face from behind in a dispute over payment.

A further struggle ensued at the back of the taxi after the defendant got out, followed by the driver.

Thompson was said to have hit him again on the face before making off on foot.

He was located on the Belfast Road, and at first denied having been in the taxi.

A Crown lawyer said the victim suffered two black eyes, a broken nose and cuts to his lips and ear.

He spent three days in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.

Defence counsel James Toal said Thompson was “entirely ashamed of himself” and wanted to apologise to the driver.

According to the barrister his client had been going through a stressful period in work at the time of the attack.

He had taken too much to drink after meeting up with friends on a night out and doesn’t recall how the incident arose, the court heard.

Acknowledging Thompson’s previous clear record, District Judge Fiona Bagnall said: “I do accept he has genuine remorse for what happened.”

Imposing the community service, she ordered him to pay £250 restitution to the victim and a further £80 for the damage to his glasses.