Man who attacked taxi driver and police dog is jailed

25/04/2016

A 19-year-old man from Walsall who pleaded guilty to racially abusing and attacking a taxi driver, damaging his property as well as punching a police dog, has today been sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court to 27 months imprisonment

The victim was given a pick-up in Bloxwich on 18 October 2015 and he collected Charlie Jones from Lichfield Road.

As the taxi was being driven along Bloxwich Road North, the defendant was sick in the victim's car and he was asked to either clean up the vomit or he would have to pay a £50 charge.

The defendant grabbed the taxi driver from behind and began punching him to the head. The victim managed to escape and get out of the car, however, Jones continued to attack the victim in the middle of the road. Throughout the attack, the defendant racially abused the victim.

Jones then proceeded to damage the taxi by kicking the wing mirror off the car, jumping onto the bonnet and kicking in the windscreen.

As the police arrived, Jones ran off towards the canal. He refused to co-operate with the instructions given to him by a police dog handler and as a result the police dog was deployed. As the police dog took the defendant to the ground, he punched the dog to the head and ribs and Jones was eventually detained by a number of officers.

He was charged with and pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault occasioning actually bodily harm, damaging a property and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The victim was taken to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton and treated for his injuries.

Julie Sealeaf, District Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Charlie Jones was high on drink and drugs when he got into the victim's taxi. As they drove off, he vomited in the car, which he was asked to clean up. The defendant took exception to this and launched a tirade of racial abuse and violence towards the victim.

"When a police dog tried to detain him, he attacked the animal and was eventually restrained by a number of police officers.

"People from all communities have a right to be protected from the prejudice at the root of racist hate crime, and the Crown Prosecution Service is determined to play its part in this.

"To this end, we now have specialist hate crime prosecutors who are experienced in dealing with some of the common issues in race hate cases.

"Where we have evidence that a crime took place because of hostility to someone's race, as what happened in this case, prosecutors will argue to courts that this is an aggravating factor."