Drunken smoker who hit out at taxi driver in Stevenage apologises

The taxi driver was hit in the cheek.

The taxi driver was hit in the cheek. - Credit: Archant

A Stevenage man who assaulted a taxi driver in a drunken rage after he refused to let him smoke in his car has apologised for his actions.

Ross Harrison, of Jessop Road, pleaded guilty at Stevenage Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to hitting Humayun Chowdhury in the face and punching his car three times on November 9 last year.

Mr Chowdhury had been waiting for a job in his taxi when he noticed Harrison standing by his window.

Harrison asked to be taken home and asked to smoke a cigarette in the car. When Mr Chowdhury refused, the 28-year-old swore at him, punched the taxi driver’s car three times before hitting him in the cheek.

Prosecuting solicitor Victoria Forbes read out a witness statement to the court which said: “I was shocked by what happened.

“I couldn’t believe someone who was dressed in a suit would hurt me. Being a taxi driver is my way of life.”

His face was left sore from the punch but was not swollen or cut.

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Defending, Alex Radley said Harrison would like to offer his sincere apologies and knew his actions were ‘unacceptable’.

The defence lawer added that his client cannot remember the assault due to his drunken state but asked that the magistrates take into account the fact that Harrison has recently started his own business in plumbing and heating and so doesn’t have a big income.

Magistrate Brian Deal said he took into the account that Harrison had entered an early guilty plea and that it was good that he showed remorse.

He was ordered to pay Mr Chowdhury £460 in damages and given a community order to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

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