Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cabbie Slapped and Spat on His Passenger

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Cabbie Slapped and Spat on His Passenger

Article excerpt

Byline: Sara Nichol Reporter

A TAXI driver slapped and spat on a frightened female passenger he was supposed to be taking home, a court heard. Hackney cab driver Hamzeh Karimi had picked up a woman and her two friends in Newcastle when an argument broke out as he drove.

The 31-year-old then pulled over on Jesmond Road, Newcastle, before turning around and heading back to the city centre.

However, as one of the frightened girls tried to open a door, Karimi spat in the woman's face and slapped her a number of times with his left hand.

The shocked women then all got out of the cab before Karimi drove off.

But, the rogue cabbie was caught when the girls noted down his registration number and reported him to the police.

Karimi, of Wardroper House, Walker, denied one count of assault at Newcastle Magistrates' Court but was found guilty after trial earlier this year.

He also denied a further charge of assault, relating to a separate incident just six months later when he attacked a fellow taxi driver, leaving his victim with a "puncture-like" wound to the back of the head.

Reading the facts of the first assault, which happened on March 9 last year, District Judge Stephen Earl said: "The defendant, a taxi driver, picks up three females and is asked to take them on a journey.

"During the journey, he repeatedly didn't trust that they had the means to pay him.

"A verbal argument took place in the car and the defendant stopped the vehicle on Jesmond Road and told them to get out, demanding the fare to that point.

"The females ask for his name and badge number and refused to get out, saying they would not pay any money until he took them home.

"The defendant then began taking them back to the city centre. The girls were very frightened and they tried to open the door to get the defendant to stop. …

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