A minicab driver has narrowly avoided jail after admitting hitting a woman in a road rage incident in Stoulton, near Worcester.
James Bird, from Birmingham, punched the woman in the face in front of teenagers sitting in his minicab. He admitted assault by beating and driving without due care and attention when he appeared at Worcester Magistrates’ Court on August 24.
Prosecuting Kerry Lovegrove told magistrates the incident had begun at 9am on May 18 when the victim, Kate Ness, had been driving on the B4084 between Worcester and Pershore. She noticed the 37-year-old tailgating her in his Ford Transit van. He overtook her, which she described as a relief.
But further along the road, when they reached Stoulton, she was forced to perform an emergency stop due to Bird’s driving. Miss Lovegrove said there was a small collision between the vehicles and after getting out of the car and approaching her she assumed Bird wanted to exchange insurance details, so she also got out.
But Bird began shouting and swearing about her speed and then, without warning, he punched her in the face causing her to fall to the floor.
The victim suffered bruising, and a lump on the back of her head. Miss Lovegrove said after the assault Bird got back into his vehicle, and drove off. She added that an aggravating factor was that Bird was a minicab driver, and was carrying teenagers in the vehicle at the time of the incident, who witnessed the “aggressive road rage incident” and “unprovoked assault”.
Defending, Timothy Hills called his client to give evidence.
Bird said: “I’m genuinely sorry for my actions. I have never acted aggressively to anybody.”
Bird said he worked for the taxi firm A2B, and had lost his home. He said he had moved in with his mother and feared he would not be able to support her if he was disqualified from driving, and lost his job as a taxi driver.
Bird was given a two-year suspended jail sentence, told to carry out unpaid work, and pay £1,000 to the victim in compensation. He was also fined £415, and ordered to pay costs of £135, and a victim surcharge of £105 - a total of £1,655.
Bird was also given five points on his licence - which took his total to 11.