Winkhill passenger told taxi driver to 'go back to his own country'
TEENAGER Samuel Bradbury subjected a taxi driver to racist abuse as he drove him home after a night out.
The 19-year-old became aggressive as cabbie Khalid Mahmood took him from Hanley to Leek, and demanded some of his money back.
Mr Mahmood was so frightened by Bradbury's behaviour he handed over £5 before stopping at the scene of a road accident to ask for help from police officers.
Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Bradbury got into the front seat of Mr Mahmood's cab at a taxi rank, and paid £21 in advance of the journey on July 14.
Heather Chamberlin, prosecuting, said: "He started a conversation, suggesting the journey from Hanley to Leek would only cost £2 in a car.
"Then he asked the driver where he was from. When he said Shelton, the defendant said he shouldn't be in the country taking jobs from other people and he should go back to his own country.
"He became more aggressive. Mr Mahmood tried to calm him down, and said he would refund some money if the journey cost less.
"The defendant said, 'Now, or I'll teach you a lesson'. Mr Mahmood was frightened and handed over £5."
By this time they had reached Ladderedge in Leek, where they came upon the scene of an accident.
Mr Mahmood stopped his cab and ran over to police officers who detained Bradbury, of Winkhill, as he tried to walk away.
Bradbury, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to affray and theft.
The court heard Mr Mahmood thought Bradbury was going to seriously hurt him, and had never been in such fear in 23 years as a taxi driver.
Paul Cliff, mitigating, said: "Mr Bradbury is sorry for his actions on this night. This prosecution has had a dramatic effect on him.
"That night he had been out with older work colleagues and had too much to drink, and was unable to control his behaviour.
"He has enjoyed the benefit of a stable family life and his parents are dismayed by his actions. Despite this they continue to support him."
Bradbury, who is in full-time work, submitted a letter of apology for Mr Mahmood.
Judge Paul Glenn, left, told him he had come 'as close as you possibly could' to going to prison, but instead imposed an 18-month community order.
He said: "You have jeopardised your entire future by a few minutes of utter stupidity."
Bradbury must complete 18 months of supervision, 60 days of a specified activity, and 200 hours unpaid work.
He is also subject to a curfew between 10pm and 5am for three months and was ordered to pay £300 compensation to Mr Mahmood, plus £1,200 court costs.