Man jailed after attacking taxi driver in a boozy haze

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A 29-year-old Brighouse man has been jailed after he punched a taxi driver during a late-night incident.

Michael Clarke, of Whinney Hill Park, was said to have been drunk when he hit cabbie Abdul Jabbar in his vehicle last May.

Clarke and 20-year-old Luke Germain, who lives in Bradford, had been passengers in the taxi along with two females, but Bradford Crown Court heard today that after Mr Jabbar stopped his vehicle in Rastrick he was assaulted by Clarke.

Germain took advantage of the situation to steal two phones belonging to the cabbie, but they were later recovered.

Prosecutor Jayne Beckett said Mr Jabbar, who worked for a Brighouse taxi firm, was taken to hospital suffering from lumps to the head and a swollen right eye.

She said the victim was left feeling shocked and disgusted by the attack.

Clarke, who had previous convictions, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm as well as two breaches of a non-molestation order relating to his partner and criminal damage.

Barrister Louise Azmi, for Clarke, said he was an alcoholic who had no memory of the incident involving the taxi driver.

But she said Clarke had written a letter for the judge in which he said he was sorry for what he had done and was thoroughly ashamed.

Mrs Azmi said Clarke realised that the complainant was a man doing his job and that both he and his family would be scared about further incidents in the future.

She said it was a case of someone having too much to drink and behaving in a “mindless way”.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC jailed Clarke for eight months on the assault matter with an extra one month behind bars for breaching the non-molestation order.

Germain, who pleaded guilty to theft of the phones, was made the subject of a 12-month community order which includes supervision and 100 hours unpaid work for the the community.

Judge told Clarke that the assault had been on a vulnerable victim doing his job and it was for no good reason other than he was drunk.

“It was an unpleasant example of an offence against a gentleman providing a valuable service,” added the judge.