Racially abusive man jailed for taxi-driver threats

PUBLISHED: 13:46 24 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

A MAN who racially abused a taxi driver after having fled the cab without paying was arrested warding off a number of angry taxi drivers with a set of rice flails. Eric Child, 21, was jailed for 13 months at Luton Crown Court last Thursday after pleading

A MAN who racially abused a taxi driver after having fled the cab without paying was arrested warding off a number of angry taxi drivers with a set of rice flails.

Eric Child, 21, was jailed for 13 months at Luton Crown Court last Thursday after pleading guilty to making off without paying, racially aggravated threatening behaviour and possessing an offensive weapon.

Prosecutor Beverley Cripps said the offences dated back to July 23, 2004 when Child and another man got into a taxi in Baldock to take them to Stevenage.

They asked the driver to go to the Ibis Hotel, and were told the fare was £28.70 but they got out of the taxi and fled.

The driver shouted at them and Child replied with racial abuse, the court heard. He also threatened to kill him.

Shortly after a number of taxi drivers arrived at the scene and there was a confrontation. By that stage Child was armed and waving the weapons around and making further threats.

Police arrived and he was arrested.

The other man had been sentenced at a previous hearing for his part. Child, of Southwark Close, Stevenage, jumped his bail and was not arrested until last month.

William Noble, defending, said: "It was only when they were in the taxi that they realised they had insufficient funds and decided to do a runner but the chain of events slipped out of control. What followed was unacceptable racial abuse."

He added: "But when police arrived Child was covered in blood, the result of some summary justice."

Mr Noble said the offence occurred during a short spate of criminality, but that Child was now committed to staying out of trouble.


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