St Helens taxi driver racially abused

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A St Helens man racially abused a taxi driver before drunkenly smashing his way out of the window of his cab.

Karl Challis admitted racially abusing Abdul Haque after a row erupted about a taxi journey to Rainhill in the early hours of February 15.

St Helens Magistrates’ Court heard how Challis, 20, of Thatto Heath, failed to give Mr Haque proper directions after being picked up outside the HSBC bank in St Helens town centre at about 1.20am.

A row then erupted when the taxi driver turned his cab around while entering Rainhill.

Despite the meter showing £8.20, Mr Haque said he would accept a fare of £6 but Challis refused before becoming verbally abusive and banging on the cab’s partition.

Mr Haque then locked the doors and drove back towards St Helens to drop Challis off at the police station but, as he slowed down along College Street, the defendant smashed a passenger side window and jumped out.

In a subsequent police interview, Challis admitted he was at fault but claimed the taxi driver had been aggressive and had tried to charge him £20. He denied being a racist.

Frank Roe, defending, queried that “if you lock people in a taxi, what do you expect them to do?”

Challis, of Forrester Avenue, was ordered to pay £250 compensation, a £220 fine, £85 costs and a £22 victim surcharge.