A man who beat a Middlesbrough taxi driver so badly it caused bleeding on the brain has avoided jail time after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
The court heard how Michael Robinson, 38, attacked the driver during a night out in Middlesbrough last November.
Robinson was said to of been so intoxicated that he didn’t realise the taxi driver already had a passenger in his vehicle and demanded he take take him to his requested destination. He then became aggressive when he couldn't gain access to the taxi.
Teesside Crown Court heard how he began to shout and kick the door of the taxi. Robinson then physically assaulted the driver, punching him repeatedly in the face.
The victim managed to exit the taxi, where a scuffle ensued. Other taxi drivers came to the victim’s aid and broke the attack up.
Police were called and arrived at the scene shortly after the incident had diffused.
The court heard how the taxi driver was forced to take four unpaid weeks off work after suffering a bleed on the brain.
He also suffered a fractured cheek bone and says he is now too scared to work nights in his taxi. During mitigation, Kelleigh Lodge, defending, said her client was genuinely sorry and accepted that his actions were "out of order", saying he is now ashamed of his behaviour. Lodge said Robinson has now significantly reduced his cannabis and alcohol consumption and stressed that during the time of the assault he was going through financial troubles. As first reported in The Northern Echo, Judge Deborah Sherwin told Robinson: “You were out drinking and lost your temper when you couldn’t get home. You kicked his taxi and he had a passenger in the back. You went on to punch him through the open window. That caused him to suffer serious injuries including a bleed on the brain and there is the possibility he suffered a fractured cheek bone.” Robinson pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and to possession of cannabis which was found on him during a police search. He was handed a 35 week sentence suspended for 18 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 15 rehabilitation days.
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