A MAN who couldn’t afford his taxi fare after a night out in Chester smashed his way out of the taxi window and ran off.
Christopher James Kelly, of George Close, Helsby, caused about £1,000 worth of damage to a King Kabs taxi after becoming angered at being driven to Frodsham Police Station by the taxi driver after he was unable to pay his fare.
West Cheshire Magistrates Court, sitting in Chester, heard Kelly, 36, had kicked the door and the seats, causing the driver, Gokhan Tutuncukara, to briefly lose control of the car and crash into a set of railings, causing more than £800 worth of damage.
When brought to the police station, Kelly, who had been picked up in Bridge Street by Mr Tutuncukara on the evening of August 25 last year, kicked his way through the rear window and attempted to make his escape before being apprehended by officers.
Marie Haydon, prosecuting, said: “Kelly had been picked up by Mr Tutuncukara, a taxi driver for King Kabs, and had asked to be taken to Helsby.
“According to Mr Tutuncukara, Kelly did not appear to be drunk and seemed pleasant, informing him that he had enough money to pay the £18 fare from Chester to Helsby.
“When the defendant arrived at his destination, he told the driver he did not have enough money to pay the fare and asked if he could pay tomorrow, which the driver declined.
“Kelly was then taken to a cash point at a nearby Tesco supermarket where he said he intended to withdraw cash to pay Mr Tutuncukara, but made no attempt to withdraw any money from the cash machine.
“Kelly then returned to the taxi and informed the driver that he could not pay, with the driver dialling 999, and was then driven to Frodsham Police Station.
“It was at this point that Kelly became aggressive and began kicking the doors, seats and window, causing Mr Tutuncukara to momentarily lose control of his vehicle and scrape it against a set of school railings, causing major damage to the vehicle’s paintwork.
“When Kelly arrived at the police station, he kicked through the glass panel in the rear door and made his escape, before being apprehended by officers from the station.”
Facing charges of criminal damage and making off without making payment, Kelly, a maritime security officer, who has contract work overseas, had pleaded not guilty to the two offences at an earlier hearing and faced a further two charges of failing to surrender to police bail.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders said: “This was an unpleasant incident and was potentially dangerous. You committed these crimes against someone carrying out a public duty and you must be punished.”
Kelly was sentenced to a 12 week community order requiring a 7am-7pm curfew, and will be required to wear an electronic tag.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,550 to Mr Tutuncukara as well as £600 additional court costs.