Violent Bristol taxi driver banned for ten years after revenge attack

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The cabbie and his brothers “cornered and attacked” a man who used to work in their father’s butchers shop

A cabbie who allegedly punched a man in a revenge attack with his brothers for opening a rival shop two doors down from their dad’s butchers has been banned for 10 years.

Bristol city councillors refused to renew his licence over the assault and a separate road-rage incident the day before that left a couple fearing for their safety.

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He denied wrongdoing in both cases but the public safety & protection sub-committee decided he was lying and that the victims were truthful and credible.

In the assault on May 30 last year, the cabbie and his brothers “cornered and attacked” a man who used to work in their father’s butchers shop and had opened a similar business two doors away a few months later, the panel was told at a private hearing.

Recently published minutes from the City Hall meeting on February 13 said the taxi driver’s family were not happy about this, accused the former employee of poaching their dad’s customers and took revenge against him.

The council papers said: “He was beaten up and [the driver] had punched him in the face causing him to bleed and resulting in a bruised eye.”

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The cabbie and his siblings “fled the scene after the attack” and, although the police arrested one of the brothers and began an investigation, no further action was taken because of insufficient evidence as there were no independent witnesses, the minutes said.

The assault left the victim suffering from depression, unable to think properly and “fearful” of the driver, who would “always swear at him and use the F-word” whenever they saw each other in the street.

The cabbie denied any involvement and his lawyer told councillors that “it had all been made up” by the man.

Members heard that the driver had agreed to a voluntary interview with the police but had not been arrested.

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The day before, he was involved in a road-rage incident where a couple had crossed Fishponds Road in front of his “speeding” car.

The cabbie blew his horn, stopped abruptly and walked over to them in an “abusive and confrontational manner” while swearing and came “right up to their faces”, the panel heard.

He told council officers in an informal interview that the traffic lights were red for pedestrians but the couple were crossing the road, so he had to “slam on his brakes and sound his horn to make them aware” and let them continue to the other side.

The driver said he got out of his car because he thought they had thrown something at it and alleged he was subjected to a “torrent or racial abuse”, a claim the pair denied and which left them “horrified” when it was put to them separately.

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During the interview he denied swearing and calling names but admitted it when the woman’s video clip of the incident proved it.

His solicitor told the hearing that he had learned his lesson and that it was “the spur of the moment and an act of road rage”.

The lawyer said the cabbie had driven taxis for 15 years without an incident.

But the redacted minutes said: “The committee considered the evidence from the two complainants and [the driver’s] version of events which were so far apart from each other that someone was not being truthful.

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“On a balance of probabilities, the committee unanimously upheld the complaint.

“It was considered that the way in which [the cabbie] conducted himself was akin to an assault in that he had stopped his vehicle in the middle of the road, got out of it, used abusive language towards them and caused them to be fearful for their safety.

“The committee did not believe that the complainants used any racist language.”

The panel also decided that “based on the incident that had happened only the day before and the friction” between the alleged assault victim and the driver’s family, “it was more probable than not” that the cabbie was involved in the attack on his dad’s ex-employee.

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The minutes said: “As a result of these two incidents involving threatening behaviour and violence the committee could no longer be satisfied that [the cabbie] was a fit and proper person to hold a private hire driver’s licence.

“His application to renew his licence was therefore refused.”

The panel took no action to remove his private hire vehicle licence, so he could hire it to a licensed driver.

Council and national policy is that a new licence will not generally be granted until at least 10 years since an offence involving violence.

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