Racist driver Thomas Seabridge jailed after Blurton assault
A THUG has been jailed for attacking a takeaway delivery driver after hurling racist abuse in a road rage row.
Thomas Seabridge abused Usman Achlaq after accusing him of poor driving in Finstock Avenue, Blurton.
Seabridge then climbed out of his Vauxhall Zafira and punched Mr Achlaq repeatedly through the open window of his Toyota after a dispute over who had right of way.
The 33-year-old then fled, but police arrested Seabridge after Mr Achlaq, who worked at Chilli Jack's kebab shop in Meir, memorised his number plate.
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It later emerged a seven-year-old had been in Seabridge's car at the time of the attack.
Now Seabridge, a father-of-two, of Dennington Crescent, Blurton, has been jailed for six months after he was found guilty of racially aggravated assault.
A trial heard the dispute erupted as Seabridge and Mr Achlaq were both travelling along Finstock Avenue, which was lined with cars parked on both sides of the road on the evening of May 18.
Mr Achlaq said Seabridge accused him of driving irresponsibly as the pair tried to negotiate the narrow street.
Furious Seabridge then stopped and reversed his car, trapping Mr Achlaq behind a parked vehicle.
He then made references to the victim's Pakistani origin, before punching him three times in the head.
Mr Achlaq said: "I had to tuck in behind a parked car because he was coming through quite quickly, and he would have hit me.
"He stopped and then reversed to block me in.
"He racially abused me and said, 'Are you trying to give it the big one?'
"And then he hit me three times on the temple. He said, 'Are you going to get out of the car?'
"I didn't. Then he just started walking away."
Mr Achlaq told North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court how he called police but was told an officer would not be available to speak to him until 9pm.
Instead, the delivery driver flagged down a passing police car and described what had happened, providing a description of Seabridge and detailing the black Vauxhall's registration plate.
Paul Kay, defending Seabridge, suggested Mr Achlaq had been in a rush to make a delivery, and that his own driving had caused the dispute.
Mr Kay also claimed Seabridge had not made racist comments.
"Is it possible you misheard what he said?" he asked Mr Achlaq.
The victim replied: "No, it's not, because he said it more than once. I speak two languages and I know what he said."
Seabridge admitted being angry, but denied using racist language or assaulting Mr Achlaq.
He said: "It was just for how he drove. He nearly took the front end of the car off and showed no road courtesy whatsoever.
"I didn't racially abuse him because I'm not a racist."
Seabridge's claims were rejected by District Judge David Taylor.
Finding Seabridge guilty of racially aggravated assault, he told him: "This was an act of unprovoked road rage. It was a repeated assault on a vulnerable victim."
Seabridge laughed as he was handcuffed and led away from the courtroom.