Northern Ireland

Taxi driver punched over £3 fare

A taxi driver was assaulted by a customer in a dispute over a fare, a court in Londonderry has heard.

Sam McCormick, 26, of Balbane Pass, Derry, was charged with assaulting the taxi driver on 21 May.

The argument started over a £3 fare from the city centre to the Creggan.

The court heard Mr McCormick became aggressive and hit the driver on the side of the head. He was bound over for 12 months and ordered to pay the taxi driver £300 in compensation.

The driver tried to get McCormick out of the car, but he continued to behave aggressively.

The incident ended when another taxi stopped to offer assistance and McCormick walked away. The driver followed and was able to tell police what house he went into.

At interview McCormick admitted being asked to get out and swinging at the driver but denied injuring him.

Defence solicitor George Copeland said that his client had been at a stag do and had been drinking for several hours.

He said he had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Deputy District Judge Mervyn Bates said that McCormick had a previous conviction for assaulting police.