Electrician screams racist abuse at taxi driver in shocking tirade that has landed him with four-figure court fine
An electrician who racially abused a taxi driver after he was unhappy with the quote for his journey home from a railway station has been fined £1,000.
Ashley Fordham, 30, launched the racist tirade just before midnight on December 30 2017 at Tunbridge Wells railway station taxi rank.
Fordham, 30, was quoted £42 by Abdullah Shaheed for his journey from the station in Kent to his home in Horsmonden which is eight-and-a-half miles away.
He then became abusive and told Mr Shaheed: 'I'm born in England. I'm English, you're not.', Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court heard today.
A shocked Mr Shaheed, who is originally from Afghanistan but has lived in Tunbridge Wells for 15 years, did up his window but before he could lock the driver's door, Fordham opened it.
Fordham continued his abuse, calling the taxi driver a 'Muslim c***', a 'Bengali c***' and a Muslim f***'.
The court heard how Mr Shaheed then got out of the taxi in fear of being assaulted, to get help from the fellow drivers on the rank.
Other taxi drivers and members of the public intervened and Mr Shaheed took out his phone and started recording what was going on.
A video of part of the incident which showed Fordham shouting 'you Muslim c*** and a Muslim f***' at the taxi driver went viral after being posted online.
In mitigation, defence counsel, Jag Takk, explained that Fordham had expected to be quoted a figure of around £25, as it was not yet past midnight.
The court also heard that Fordham was pushed in the chest, after stepping out of the taxi.
Mr Takk said: 'When [Fordham's] been pushed in the chest is when he gets really angry and we see how he's behaved in the video.
He continued: 'If you watch it carefully, someone is saying, 'oh yes' and laughing as they are recording.'
'The video suggests he is enjoying and relishing the prospect of what he's going to do with the video footage,' he added.
Mr Takk also sought to question the motive for a video of this nature being shared online.
He said: 'If he's a victim, he wouldn't want to keep watching the video, they would want to put the incident behind them so he can move on.'
Fordham pleaded guilty to a racially aggravated offence of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress.
Sentencing, Magistrate Bensted-Smith, said: 'We will deal with it by way of a financial penalty. Having taken into account the early guilty plea, there will be a fine of £700. That gets uplifted by £300 for the racial element.'
Fordham was also ordered to pay costs of £420, including £200 compensation for Mr Shaheed.