A CABBIE who hit a drunken passenger over the head with a wheelbrace was ordered to pay him £1,500 compensation.
Bilal Hussain, 44, drove off at 4am from the centre of Saltburn, leaving the man needing eight stitches in hospital.
He had picked up a group of men on Redcar high street in his minibus and the victim paid him £30 in advance for them to be taken to Skelton.
But then the passengers asked to be dropped off at various addresses on the journey, and when they reached Saltburn, Hussain said he was not taking them any further.
The dispute developed into pushing and shoving in the taxi, and when they got out the two remaining passenger rounded on him, said prosecutor Adrian Strong.
Hussain picked up the wheelbrace from inside the taxi and hit one man over the head before driving off, Teesside Crown Court was told. Hussain told police he was not aware the man had been injured.
Mr Strong said the Crown did not accept the men were offering violence. The victim, a self-employed building contractor, told police months later he was left unable to work at heights, still suffered headaches and was awaiting a CT scan.
Only days before the attack, Hussain had appeared before magistrates for damaging another passenger’s car wing mirror in a dispute, and he had previous convictions for possessing offensive weapons, and been jailed for possession of heroin with intent to supply.
Sean Dryden, defending, said: “There is no dispute that the two men were drunk, and he accepts that he should not have become involved. There must have been a loss of temper on his part to allow the situation to develop as it did.”
Judge Michael Taylor said: “If I put you in prison, you will probably lose your job and he will not be compensated, but on balance I have decided that if you stay in work he can be compensated.”
Hussain, of Park Road South, Middlesbrough, was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation and given a nine-month jail sentence suspended for two years with supervision after he pleaded guilty to actual bodily harm assault on March 11 last year.
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