A passenger who kicked a cabbie out of his taxi saying "it's my turn to drive" has been sentenced to nine months in jail.
Michael Mallon, 27, attended Belfast Magistrates' Court and was jailed after refusing to pay a fare. District Judge Mark Hamill said: "This man soars over the custody threshold" and handed Mr Mallon the maximum available sentence for common assault, disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, and obtaining services dishonestly.
The court heard prosecutors say that the passenger got into the cab and asked to be taken to a destination in the summer of 2018. Mallon then requested a different drop off point to the taxi driver, however he then became abusive when the cost of the fare was discussed.
The cabbie then headed to the nearest police station located in the Stewartstown Road area.
A Crown lawyer told the court, once the car came to a standstill Mallon then pushed the cabbie out of the vehicle with his foot saying “It's my turn to drive,”.
Police then arrived at the scene and removed Mallon from the taxi. The passenger was searched by police where a small bag of herbal cannabis was seized.
According to Belfast Telegraph, Judge Mark Hamill highlighted the seriousness of assaulting anyone who was providing a public service saying "This man was trying to do an honest day's work and (Mr Mallon) declined to pay a fare, climbed in the front and kicks him out of his own taxi,".
The judge imposed six months imprisonment and ordered Mallon to serve a further three months of a previously suspended term. Mallon was also handed a £75 fine for the possession of cannabis.