A customer snatched a key from a Chesterfield taxi and punched a window in a dispute with a cabbie, magistrates heard.
Abusifian Asdulla picked up Julian Ord and two friends from outside Back to the Nineties bar in Holywell Street at 5am on May 6.
They asked to go to Wingerworth and then on to Tupton and Ord paid £10 up front, but he asked the driver to pull up 100 yards down the road.
“He said he had paid £20 and there was an argument. He reached through an open window and grabbed the keys in the ignition,” said Lynn Manning, prosecuting.
Ord only succeeded in separating the boot key from the ignition key, which remained in place. Mr Asdulla closed the window and Ord punched it, causing no damage.
“Police were called and he said he had dropped the key to the boot down a drain,” added Ms Manning.
Ord, 23, told police he was concerned whether the driver was a legitimate cabbie and told him to stop. He was handed back £10 and he tried to snatch the ignition key to immoblise the vehicle.
Mr Asdulla stated that he lost £50 earnings as a result of the incident.
Ord, an iron foundry worker, of Harehill Crescent, Wingerworth, admitted theft. He had previous convictions for arson, theft and disorder.
The bench imposed a 7pm-5am weekend curfew for ten weeks and ordered him to pay £50 compensation, with £85 costs.
“I hold my hands up. I thought I was acting with the best intentions but I made a poor judgement call. It was a silly thing but I believed at the time it was the right thing to do,” Ord told the court.