A man has been jailed following a violent and unprovoked assault in a London minicab.
Xavier Lightbourne, 30, was sentenced on Wednesday 18 September at Southwark Crown Court to two-and-a-half years’ imprisonment having pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.
He was also sentenced to 12 months - to be served concurrently - for breaching a Restraining Order, which was against the same woman.
On 18 October 2018, a private hire driver picked up Lightbourne and a woman – who was known to the suspect – in Westminster. Lightbourne claimed that the woman was drunk and threw her into the back of the cab.
The woman, who was clearly distressed, tried to get out of the cab whilst it was still moving. Her attempt enraged Lightbourne, who punched her approximately four times in the face.
The driver stopped the cab and Lightbourne ran off before going into hiding. The woman required medical treatment for facial injuries.
Lightbourne was circulated as wanted and a media appeal for information to trace him was issued.
On 30 January, he handed himself in at a south London police station. He was charged on 12 March.
Detective Constable Chris Willey, from the Central West Safeguarding team, said: “Lightbourne assaulted his victim whilst they were in a moving taxi, when she had no means of escape.
“The fact that he committed this abhorrent attack in front of the driver shows a level of arrogance, and expectation that he could do whatever he wanted. However, that was clearly not the case and he is now in prison for his actions that day.
“I would like to praise the bravery of this victim for coming forward and contacting us. Her presence at court also showed Lightbourne that he would be held to account for his behaviour, leaving him no other option but to plead guilty.
“We would always encourage the victims of violence to speak with police, including their local safeguarding team, or one of the many charities who support those who suffer from abuse.”
Image credit: Met Police