A racist thug bit a taxi driver before threatening to hunt down and rape a police officer's children.
The Liverpool Echo reports that James Ryan flew into a rage after two cabbies refused him and his girlfriend fares because of their "aggressive" behaviour.
Liverpool Crown Court heard John McEneaney was waiting in his hackney cab, at a taxi rank on Hanover Street in Liverpool city centre.
He saw a man and woman trying to get into the back of a cab in front, who looked like they were being "aggressive" to the driver, who drove off.
Paul Blasbery, prosecuting, said the man - Ryan - then turned to Mr McEneaney and said: "I suppose you're not going to f***ing take us."
Mr McEneaney decided to drive away, but said Ryan's girlfriend bent down in front of his cab, he believed to try and pull off his registration plate.
Ryan used a vile slur against Mr McEneaney before kicking his cab - damaging the fuel cap - and punching his window, trying to smash it.
Mr Blasbery said Ryan, 39, then tried to pull off his left wing mirror, so the victim got out and said: "Just move away from the cab lad."
Ryan knocked him over, when the cabbie banged the back of his head, before he straddled him and bit the left side of his head.
Mr Blasbery said Ryan, from Walton, continued to "punch him and bite him whilst he was defenceless on the floor".
He said Mr McEneaney "to his credit managed to overpower him" and get to his feet, but Ryan again forced him down and punched him.
When the victim got up a second time, Ryan said "I've got knives, I'm going to f***ing stab you, you're only a f***ing pensioner" and reached into a holdall, so Mr McEneaney got back in his cab, locked the doors and drove off.
He flagged down police in Ranelagh Street, who arrested Ryan shortly after the attack, at around 11pm, on May 23, 2019.
The victim was treated at hospital for two "superficial" head wounds and given a hepatitis vaccine course, which came back all clear.
Ryan was taken to a police station, but in the early hours of May 24 racially abused a custody officer, who was checking on his welfare.
Mr Blasbery said Ryan yelled "f*** you porky pig" and twice used the N word against Steven Sharp, at around 2am.
He later punched a hatch when Mr Sharp lifted it and shouted: "F*** you n******, I'm going to rape your kids n*****, when I get out of here I will find your details, come round and rape your kids f***ing n*****."
Ryan repeated the rape threat at 3.50am and when other detainees arrived, shouted: "Spit at them, the f***ing n*****s."
Mr McEneaney said the attack aggravated a previous back injury and he was off work for two months.
The victim said he lost around £2,400 in earnings and it cost £300 to repair his taxi.
The prosecutor said: "He cannot believe someone would do this to another person."
Ryan admitted a racially aggravated public order offence when he first appeared at court, but denied assault causing actual bodily harm and criminal damage until the opening day of a trial.
He has 13 previous convictions for 21 offences, with his last conviction in 2014.
Mr Blasbery said they included "racially or religiously aggravated violence", common assault and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Michael O'Brien, defending, said he wanted to highlight Ryan's "positives" and urged the judge to spare him jail.
The lawyer said Ryan had responded well to previous supervision and after being homeless now had stable accommodation.
Judge David Potter said Ryan was "very substantially intoxicated" on drink or drugs or both, when he targeted Mr McEneaney.
He said: "You bit him to the side of his head and continued to rain down punches whilst he was defenceless on the floor."
Judge Potter said "mercifully" the injuries were not as serious as they might have been, but his victim had feared infection.
The judge told Ryan: "At the police station you continued to be aggressive, shouting and swearing, using obscene racist language at a custody officer, who was doing his job in checking on the welfare of you, a lawful detainee in a police station.
"You not only used racist language towards him, but you threatened at one stage to rape his children."
Judge Potter added: "That was outrageous behaviour."
Jailing him for 20 months, he said: "Licenced taxi drivers provide a valuable service to the community in difficult and often dangerous circumstances and they can expect to feel protected in their workplace."
Ryan turned to a woman sitting in the public gallery and said: "I love you, goodbye love, see you soon kid."
Derbyshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster has offered her full backing to a local authority after it became the first in the county to make CCTV compulsory in taxis.
Commissioner Angelique Foster has already thrown down the gauntlet to local councils throughout Derbyshire to follow North-East Derbyshire District Council’s lead in mandating CCTV in all taxis to boost the safety of passengers and improve the detection of crime.
The Department for Transport (DfT) issued statutory guidance in 2020 suggesting that CCTV can provide an additional deterrent to prevent crime and help bring perpetrators to justice.
Having supported North-East Derbyshire District Council’s (NEDDC) plans for a long time, Commissioner Angelique Foster is a strong advocate for the move, particularly for the extra reassurance it offers female passengers frequenting the night-time economy, and has written to every local authority in Derbyshire to encourage full take-up of the approach.
Derbyshire Constabulary recently used footage taken from a taxi CCTV camera to assist in providing evidence to tackle a County Line that exploited young people while also taking advantage of vulnerable adults in Derby City.
The crucial footage enabled officers to submit compelling evidence which led to the successful prosecution of 11 individuals who received more than 40 years behind bars.
Meanwhile, a number of vulnerable children were identified and safeguarded from the gang.
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said: “I am fully supportive of North East Derbyshire District Council’s decision to adopt this policy and I am thankful to the District Councillors who have boldly become the first in the county to do so.
“Public safety is paramount and anything we can do to protect passenger safety and reduce the risk of crime has to be embraced.
“Everyone has a right to feel safe and it is important we take practical steps to reduce risk or vulnerability where possible, particularly where it concerns the safety of women and girls.
“Small measures can save lives and I am calling on our local authority colleagues across Derbyshire to see the sense in this approach and follow this council’s lead.”
Through the deployment of further CCTV in taxis, the Police and Crime Commissioner believes more crime will be detected and prevented – a view shared by members of the public she has engaged with.
It will also help to reduce the fear of crime and reassure passengers their safety is a priority.
Following discussions with other licensing officers across Derbyshire, it is understood that other local authorities are preparing to consult the public on a range of new measures to boost safety, which may include the use of CCTV.
A Belfast taxi driver has been branded a hero after his "brave actions" rescuing a 69-year-old woman who fell down into a 7ft ditch while on a journey to the Giant's Causeway.
Keith Graham was transporting Barbara Jaye, her husband Alan and a close friend to visit Northern Ireland's famous north coast after they arrived in Belfast on the Sky Princess cruise ship when Barbara got into difficulty after stopping to be sick.
Alan told Belfast Live that his wife had a heavy cold for a couple of days and despite him telling her she shouldn't go on Tuesday's trip to the Causeway, Barbara insisted she was OK.
Alan said: "The Giants Causeway was about 70 miles from the ship and whilst she stayed in the taxi most of the time, she started to feel sick. On the way back, she asked the driver to stop so he pulled over quickly.
"As she stepped out of the cab onto a grassy embankment, she lost her footing and fell headfirst into a grassy bramble filled ditch, narrowly missing an old fence post. If she'd had fallen on that, the outcome could have been very different."
He explained that Barbara's coat became caught in the brambles and being unable to move or manoeuvre herself, she passed out after her fall.
"She was eventually rescued by the brave actions of Mr Graham, close friend Howard Brenner and myself all of whom braved the rain and awful conditions, climbed into the ditch without fear for their own safety and managed to physically pull Barbara from danger.
"Barbara was wedged upside down in the ditch and was caught up in the brambles so could not turn herself around. I could only get about halfway down the side of the ditch but Keith jumped down and somehow managed to turn Barbara so that I could grab one arm.
"By this time she had passed out so with me pulling and Keith pushing, we managed to get her halfway up the side of the ditch and then Howard was able to grab her other arm and we manhandled her back onto the verge. We could not have managed this without Keith. He deserves a bravery award," Alan said.
Barbara, who was celebrating her 48th wedding anniversary with Alan, is now recovering back on the ship which is headed for Le Harve and fortunately suffered only minor injuries to her hands and feet.
"She was very shocked and unwell and slept from about 3:30 yesterday afternoon until 10:30 this morning although she was sick again in the night. In the last hour or so she seems to have picked up a bit," Alan added.
"She was lucky not to land on a concealed fence spike, as was Keith when he jumped in to help her. This could have been a very different story."
A Hyndburn taxi safety operation has found that only half of the vehicles tested had no faults.
LancsLive reports that the routine checks were carried out last month by Hyndburn Borough Council licensing officers, with the support of police and mechanics.
In an email neighbourhood alert, PC Graham Hartley said 12 council vehicles were checked, of which six had no faults.
But one was served with immediate prohibition, four had delayed faults, and one Section 68 notice (fitness of private hire vehicles) was issued.
PC Hartley said: “This was a very good example of partnership working to ensure that members of the local community who use HBC taxis can be assured that the vehicles that they are getting into are fit and safe for purpose.”
In a statement, a council spokesperson said: “Only one vehicle exhibited a serious fault and was issued with a suspension notice by the council and a prohibition notice from VOSA.
“Other vehicle faults reported were either corrected at the time, or indicated by dashboard notifications and scheduled to be fixed at the earliest opportunity.
“Examples included an advisory notice for a tyre and for another vehicle, a small amount of rust.
"The safety of Hyndburn residents and our taxi drivers is something we take very seriously and we will continue to ensure our vehicles are correctly maintained.”
Residents and business owners at an estate in Newport, Gwent, have said they are living a nightmare because of problems with drugs and anti-social behaviour which have led to some city taxi and bus drivers refusing to go there at night.
According to WalesOnline, in Alway, which is one of the most deprived areas of Newport in the east of the city, people have described how they are struggling to leave their homes for work because public transport won't go there after 7pm.
Mohammed Iqbal, who has worked at Alway fish and chip shop in the centre of the estate for 31 years, said the problem was worse now than it ever had been. He said he often had stones thrown at his window and cans and bottles repeatedly kicked at his property.
Mr Iqbal explained: “It has had a big impact on business because when we have ten or so people gathering outside the kids don’t come, the parents don’t come - because they are intimidated. It’s all the time. I called 999 on Saturday because I was scared the windows would go through.”
Traders have told stories of youths ringing taxis and waiting for them to arrive before ripping stickers off the vehicles and throwing stones at them.
Karen Clare, who also lives on the estate, posted on social media a picture of a vehicle she was in having been vandalised.
“It has been going on for some time and it appears taxis and buses are the main targets,” another resident, Michelle Davey, said. “But others have had their cars damaged and have nearly crashed. I can see someone being seriously hurt soon.
“I rely on taxis for my journeys from work and some companies will not come into Alway.”
Traders in the area have received a letter from the police informing them they will have more support to help combat crime in the area affecting their businesses, and a dispersal order is now also in place for the estate, but many have said much more needs to be done.
Every window in the old vicarage next door to Saint Teilo’s church has been smashed and they are all now boarded up. People living nearby told of watching hooded vandals throwing bricks at the house for days before each window was wrecked.
The residents, who said the area was “rapidly turning into a no-go zone”, said issues of anti-social behaviour and drug use needed to be publicised, but added that they were too concerned of the repercussions should they speak openly about the problems in the area.
Malcolm Robinson, 77, who has lived on the estate for 13 years, said: “I dropped my keys and didn’t realise. That night someone got in the car with the keys and crashed it. I’ve had the car scratched too. It’s terrible around here. It’s not just that - there is open drug dealing outside here,” he said, pointing towards the front of his house.
Asked what he thought about a dispersal order for the area giving police extra powers to deal with anti-social behaviour, he said: “I don’t think it will make a difference.”