Sussex

Man jailed for biting Hastings taxi driver Lee Curtis

James Pilgrim leaning over to bite Lee Curtis
Image caption James Pilgrim was caught biting taxi driver Lee Curtis during the assault in Hastings

A man who headbutted and bit a taxi driver who had driven him home has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

James Pilgrim, 43, of Newgate Road, Hastings, admitted causing actual bodily harm at a previous hearing before magistrates in the town.

Lee Curtis suffered cracked ribs and had to have six stitches in his fingers as a result of the attack in July.

Mr Curtis had to walk out of the room at Lewes Crown Court when CCTV of the attack was played during sentencing.

Summing up, the judge Mr Justice Kemp said anyone serving the public should be able to do their job without fear of violence.

Image caption The attack happened outside Pilgrim's house on Newgate Road

The incident was caught on the taxi's CCTV at about 00:30 BST on 19 July.

The footage showed Mr Curtis trying to escape the assault which happened outside Pilgrim's home.

After the hearing, Mr Curtis said: "I appreciate it's a custodial sentence but for the severity and the nastiness of it and for the fact that I couldn't defend myself... I think he should have got longer than that.

"I still get headaches, flashbacks. In the back of my head, I don't trust anybody.

"I look at everybody now and I'm on my guard. It's just a horrible, horrible thing."

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