A TAXI driver has hit out after a passenger who assaulted him was ordered to pay £10 compensation by Dundee Sheriff Court — describing the sentence as “unbelievable”.
Alan McRae 54, of Kerrystone Court, admitted getting out of the taxi without paying his fare before proceeding to punch the driver, Naseh Ahmad, when asked for the money.
He was ordered to pay Mr Ahmad £10.46 — which was the original taxi fare.
Today, Mr Ahmad described the sentencing as “unbelievable”.
He said: “With the sentencing handed out, it is simply encouraging customers to continue to behave in this manner and is in no way protecting the driver.
“The shirt I was wearing which I handed in as evidence cost more than the penalty handed out.”
The court previously heard McRae picked up the taxi from the Nethergate on August 1.
Fiscal depute Muhammad Sadiq told the court McRae was on a night out with friend John Farmer, 50, of Cobden Street. Farmer left the town centre around 9pm and slightly later McRae got into a taxi and asked to go to Cobden Street.
When the taxi arrived, McRae refused to pay the fare and shouted towards the driver, and then proceeded to punch the Mr Ahmad.
Mr Ahmad contacted the police, who arrived shortly after and traced McRae at one of the properties on Cobden Street along with Farmer.
The court heard Mr Ahmad was naturally “shaken” by the incident and went off shift shortly after the incident around 10pm.
George Harris, Tay Taxi director, said there needs to be more protection for the driver.
He said: “The protection we are getting from the authorities is shocking.
“I will be bringing this particular incident up at the next council liaison committee. We cannot tolerate this type of behaviour anymore.”
Chris Elder, Unite Union taxi branch secretary, said: “The driver certainly deserves more than that — these events are becoming more and more of an occurrence.
McRae was also placed on a community payback order which requires him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and he was placed under one year’s supervision.