Chesterfield taxi passenger terrorised driver with “appalling” racist abuse
A vulgar Chesterfield thug who threw “appalling” racist abuse at a taxi driver during a drunken journey had put away “a lot of Stella” and “some cocaine”, a court heard.
Thomas Hendry, 20, - known to his victim after working together at a taxi firm previously - accused the frightened driver of “forcing me to eat halal food”.
Chesterfield Magistrates Court heard Hendry’s victim - “extremely hurt and upset” - realised he knew him as he recalled taking halal food to work when they were colleagues.
Prosecutor Fatima Laher said Hendry’s behaviour started not long after he and a friend were collected at the Hollingwood Hotel on the night of May 30.
“Intoxicated” Hendry tried to climb from the car’s rear seat into the front passenger seat and when asked to stop replied “I can do whatever I f****** like”.
Hendry’s panicked driver did ask him to get out of the car however the request was ignored and the defendant hurled racial insults instead – which the Derbyshire Times has chosen not to publish.
Ms Laher described how when they reached their destination the scared driver dropped Hendry off quickly without collecting his fee of £6.80.
However later that night - at about 1am - he saw the sloshed defendant being spoken to by police on Sheffield Road and reported what had happened.
During a police interview Hendry told police he had “a lot of Stella” on the night of the incident and “some cocaine”.
Ms Laher added: “He said there was around an hour he couldn’t remember - he couldn’t remember any of the conversation.
“He said it wasn’t his normal behaviour and believed he had a bad night.”
Hendry, of Chestnut Drive, Hollingwood, admitted racially or religiously-aggravated harassment.
A magistrate told him: “This was a very unpleasant incident, I’m sure, and we find it caused serious harm.
“This would have been an extremely distressing incident - it was appalling racial abuse.”
Hendy, who had no legal representation, told the court: “I’m sorry for what I’ve done.”
He was fined £280, made to pay £150 compensation and a £34 victim surcharge.