An Uber driver who called a passenger a ‘black c***’ and then punched her in the face in a fit of anger has avoided jail.
Shahab Akbar, 33, hurled the insult at Taleka White, 27, before trying pull her from his cab and punching her twice in the face after a row over two drop-offs.
The former driver, who has since had his licence removed, pleaded his innocence but was found guilty of racially aggravated common assault last month.
Yesterday, magistrates in Croydon handed him a 16 week suspended prison sentence and a 200 hour community order following the incident in Addiscombe on November 29 last year.
His victim was left with a lump on her head, bruising to her face and a bloodied wrist and knuckles.
She told the Evening Standard: ‘I no longer trust minicab drivers. I have become very concerned about how I get home from a night out.
‘It has taken the fun out of my life. I have become the designated driver for my friends.’
The court heard how the attack occurred after the victim and a friend used the app after a night out in Croydon.
Prosecutor Angela Mahadeo said Akbar grew angry when he became confused over where to drop off her friend, he then began to insult Taleka as she continued the journey alone.
Ernest Aduwa, for the defence, said it was an ‘isolated incident’ and his client, of Lampits, Hertfordshire, was a man of good character and had no previous convictions.
He told the court: ‘Whilst he doesn’t accept that he committed the offence. He does accept that the behaviour alleged is unacceptable.
‘He would like me to tell the court that this whole experience has been embarrassing for him and has been quite traumatic and left him feeling ashamed.’
Akbar was ordered to pay £500 in compensation to the victim, an £150 victim surcharge and £600 in costs.
A spokesman for Uber told the Standard: ‘We were appalled by this horrific incident. Uber does not tolerate violence or discrimination of any kind.
‘We assisted the police with their investigation and immediately stopped this licensed driver from being able to use our app.’
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