Somerset

'Abduction' cabbie to pay damages to brain-damaged passenger

A man who suffered severe brain damage when he leapt out of a moving taxi in Bath is to be paid damages by the cab driver who "abducted" him.

Taxi driver Michael Young, of Poplar Close, Bath, picked up Kristopher Hicks and his girlfriend in November 2010.

The taxi driver mistakenly believed Mr Hicks was going to "do a runner," so did not stop at his home but drove on.

The court ruled there was no basis in Mr Young's belief, but driving on had prompted Mr Hicks to try to escape.

'Unlawfully driven'

The incident happened after a night out in the city, when Mr Hicks, who was 23 at the time, ended up being "unlawfully" driven about three-quarters of a mile away from his home by Mr Young.

Mr Young told the hearing, at the High Court in London, he had intended to drive Mr Hicks back to the taxi rank to "teach him a lesson by causing him as much inconvenience" as he could.

The court heard passenger Mr Hicks has never been able to speak to anyone about what happened.

Mr Justice Edis said: "The end result is that the claimant decided to jump out of the taxi at a dangerous speed. I do not know why he did this.

"It may have been that he misjudged the speed and thought it was safe to do so, but the true motive will never be known."

The taxi driver said he should not pay anything despite his "deliberate wrongdoing".

The court gave both sides permission to appeal. The amount of damages is to be decided at a later date.

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