A taxi driver who attacked his “vulnerable” female passengers has been jailed.
During a campaign of violence carried out over a week, Anthony ‘Tony’ Rees grabbed one woman by the throat and shoved her to the ground, and dragged another victim from his taxi.
Two other women were verbally ab-used by the 60-year-old.
The Daily Echo reported an investigation was underway after the incidents, all of which took place in October last year.
Rees, from Bournemouth, was sentenced to four months in prison after admitting two counts of assault and one of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, at Poole Magistrates’ Court on January 30.
Magistrates said his victims were “vulnerable” and he was in a “position of trust” at the time of the attacks.
The first incident took place on October 8 when passengers Charlotte Ball and Evie Harrison were verbally abused. The women said Rees was “screaming and swearing and threatening” them.
On October 11, he assaulted Eimear O’Sullivan after she took a taxi from Bournemouth train station. He grabbed her by the throat and neck and shoved her, causing her to fall and hit her head. She suffered bruising to her lower back, chest, ankle and arm during the assault.
On October 14, he attacked Josie Hagan, dragging her from his taxi. Ms Hagan suffered grazing to her knees and elbows.
A friend of one of the victims took to Facebook to warn others about the driver, posting images of the independent hackney carriage’s licence plate number. The post was then shared almost 1,000 times, and more than 150 people - including Ms O’Sullivan and Ms Ball - commented on it.
Sergeant Gareth Gosling, of Bournemouth police, said: “Anthony Rees’ violent behaviour was targeted at young women who were in a vulnerable position as passengers in his taxi.
“We carried out a detailed investigation into these matters and the taxi licensing authority, Bournemouth Borough Council, was informed so it could take appropriate action.
“I hope this case demonstrates that we will take action following reports of this nature.”
Nananka Randle, Bournemouth Council’s licensing team manager, said the council was contacted by police on October 20.
“The decision was made to revoke his licence with immediate effect following consultation with three members of the licensing board,” she said.
Applicants are required to present an enhanced DBS certificate on application. Licensed drivers have to submit an enhanced DBS every three years.
Rees was also ordered to pay a total of £300 in compensation, as well as costs.