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.

Monday, 4th October 2021, 2:48 pm

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.

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Thomas Hendry, 20, threw “appalling” racist abuse at a taxi driver

“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.

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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.

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