Suspended sentence for racial abuse of taxi driver


A Northamptonshire man who pleaded guilty to racially abusing a taxi driver and making off without paying has received a suspended prison sentence and a community order.

William Portley took a taxi home from a pub of 6 August last year. On arrival at his destination, he argued about the fare, before becoming racially abusive and making threats towards the driver, who recorded the abuse on his mobile phone.

Portley pleaded guilty to racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence and making off without payment at Northampton Crown Court on 8 April, and was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, a nine-month supervision order and 80 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay £250 court costs.

Steve Chappell, Acting Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS East Midlands said: "Race hate crimes such as this are an extremely serious matter, and the language used by this defendant was particularly repugnant. It is unacceptable to behave in an abusive and threatening manner, but doing so out of hostility towards someones ethnic origin is even more serious. Everyone has the right to live and work without fear of violence or racial harassment, and the Crown Prosecution Service works hard to ensure that anyone whose actions jeopardise that right will face the consequences of their actions."