A mum-of-two tried to suffocate a taxi driver with a plastic bag after a dispute over the fare on her way back from a party, a court heard.
Claire Brooks be-came angry and began to shout racial abuse at the taxi driver when he cut the journey short in Chilwell on August 13, 2017.
The 30-year-old, from Nottingham, appeared in Nottingham Magistrates’ Court in November after admitting racially aggravated common assault at an earlier hearing.
Miss Christine Ofosu-Ampadu, prosecuting, told the court the taxi driver picked up three females from a 30th birthday party in Derbyshire to return them home and asked for the £20 fare up front.
However, he stopped in Boundary Road, Chilwell, as he was worried about one of the passengers, Brooks, being sick inside his car and then decided to cut the journey short after he “discovered spit in the rear of the vehicle”.
Brooks then began to swear and shout racist abuse at him, put a plastic carrier bag over his head and threatened to suffocate him, the court heard.
An audio recording played to the court, which was recorded by the taxi driver at the time of the incident, heard Brooks say: “Shall I beat him up?” and swear as she said “I’ll suffocate you” to which he responded saying: “Stop threatening me.”
Miss Ofosu-Ampadu said: “He contacted the police and she continued to put a carrier bag over his head and said she was going to suffocate him. She then punched him in the side of the neck.
“He then got out the car and she chased him and got into the driver’s seat. They then got into another vehicle. He suffered no injuries as a result of the incident.”
Brooks also called the taxi driver a number of racially and religiously aggravated names.
In a statement read out to the court, the taxi driver said the incident had left him “shaken” and “traumatised”.
He said: "I have been a taxi driver for about 20 years and I can honestly say this is the worst thing that has happened to me.
“This is the first time I have been subjected to this level of abuse. Having a plastic bag over my head - as someone who suffers from asthma - is very traumatic. It will take me a long time to get back to a level where I feel comfortable like I used to.”
Derek Brown, mitigating, said that Brooks was “mortified” about the incident and added that Brooks “hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol since the incident”.
Brooks was handed a 12-month community order and ordered to pay £250 to the victim and £250 court costs as well as a victim surcharge of £85.
Magistrate Karen O’Brien said: “We are only doing this to you because of your current means.”