Taxi driver avoids jail after ramming his vehicle into man who refused to pay fare

A taxi driver from Bangor, Northern Ireland, has been spared jail time after he drove his taxi into an un-paying passenger, breaking his wrist. William David McFarland, 57, was at the front of a taxi rank in Bangor’s high street when Alan McMullan, who was clearly intoxicated, jumped the queue and entered his taxi. On arrival to his destination, close to Bangor Football Club, McMullan refused to pay the full fare, stating that he would only pay “a small amount”. The court heard that McMullan then walked off without paying anything that was owed for the journey. McFarland then drove his taxi directly at McMullan, breaking his wrist and causing bruising to his lower back and knees. McFarland was later identified by his victim and was arrested and interviewed by the police, according to a report in the BBC. Judge Piers Grant, of Downpatrick Crown Court, accepted that the passenger was “clearly intoxicated” and that his behaviour was “extremely poor” but there was no excuse for McFarland to use his vehicle as a weapon to cause injury. Grant told McFarland in court that his situation was “a disastrous set of behaviour circumstances of your own making because behaviour like this is simply and utterly unacceptable”. McFarland was sentenced to 100 hours community service and two years probation. He was also banned from driving for five years and ordered to pay a £400 fine.

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