Stewart Benson and wife Dawn from Leicester had been seeing in the New Year in Manchester. A taxi driver who had picked up the wrong customer was then racially abused and beat up by the couple for his error!
Manchester Crown Court heard how Dawn, 53, threw a punch at the driver, cutting his top lip, and Stewart, drunk on Jack Daniel’s whisky, racially abused him. Dawn threw a punch at the driver, cutting his top lip, and Stewart, drunk on Jack Daniel’s whisky, called him a ‘f*****g p**i.
In video footage of the incident, a woman can be heard saying ‘you f*****g black c**t, go back to your own country’ reports the Manchester Evening News.
After hearing this, Judge Hilary Manley told Dawn she was ‘very fortunate indeed’ not to have been charged with a racially-aggravated offence.
When the taxi driver tried to explain that he was just doing his job, Stewart, 50-year-old road sweeper supervisor, told him ‘I’m tough, I was in a war’ and punched him again in his face.
His wife ripped the indicator and wiper stalk from his car before the police were called. Stewart Benson, pleaded guilty to one charge of common assault and one charge of racially-aggravated harassment.
Dawn Benson, admitted one charge of common assault and one charge of criminal damage.
Stewart was jailed for seven and a half months, but his wife walked free from court after being handed a five-month sentence, suspended for two years, and 150 hours of unpaid work.
The pair, both in tears, embraced in the dock before Stewart was sent down.
‘He realised he had picked up the wrong customer’
Prosecutor David Barley told the court how the defendants were ‘milling around’ outside the social club at around 2.30am.
He said the taxi driver had been scheduled to pick up a woman but had accidentally picked up an elderly couple, who had got into the vehicle and given him directions.
“He [the taxi driver]realised he had picked up the wrong customer.
“Legally, he had to go back and drop them back and collect the right customer.”
When the taxi driver returned to the club to drop the elderly couple back off, though, the defendants became involved.
“Stewart takes exception to the driver dropping off this couple and says the driver is obliged to take them back”, Mr Barley said.
“They had obviously had a lot to drink and he told the taxi driver he was a police officer.
“When the taxi driver stood his ground the defendants became violent and Dawn punched the driver in the mouth.”
The driver tried to explain that he had to take the original customer, who was a lone female.
He tried to call the customer to prove it to the couple. But Stewart punched him again on his top lip, grabbed his phone and threw it in a garden behind them.
As he got out of his car to get his phone back, Stewart said to him: ‘I’m tough, I was in a war’, and that he would ‘knock him out’.
“The driver finds his phone and calls 999 but Stewart grabs the phone”, the prosecutor said.
“Dawn then got involved again and punched the driver in the right eye and Stewart punched him again.
“The taxi driver managed to grab his phone and took a picture of the couple.
“Dawn got into the taxi and snapped off the wiper stick and the indicator stick.
“He was forced to delete the picture and in the end they walked off and the police arrived and arrested them.”
Defending Dawn, John Marsh said his client had had ‘too much to drink’.
But Judge Hilary Manley said that only immediate custody was appropriate for Stewart because of his previous convictions and the racial element to his convictions.
Sentencing, she told the couple: “The courts will not tolerate ugly, narrow-minded, racial words, especially when coupled with violence.
“The victim in this case was utterly blameless and was providing a public service.
“In the video footage of the incident, it’s possible to hear others telling you you were ‘out of order’, this is an understatement.