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Taxi Driver guilty of reckless assault

Taxi Driver guilty of reckless assault

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Taxi Driver guilty of reckless assault

Wednesday 30 May 2018

A local taxi driver has been found guilty of assault and leaving the scene of an accident, after he drove away from a drunk teenager who was acting like a "taxi driver's worst nightmare", but who was dragged along by his car with his arm caught inside the passenger door.

Glen Pontin, 56, had pleaded not guilty to assault and leaving the scene of the incident, and an alternative charge of dangerous driving when he appeared before Guernsey's Magistrates Court.

The charges arose after Pontin drove away from visiting performer William Bracey following a dispute between the two men over how Mr Bracey would pay a £300 penalty for vomiting inside Pontin's taxi.

The taxi driver had driven Mr Bracey: who admitted he was drunk at the time, to Doyle Motor's forecourt to use the ATM. However, he found he had no money in his account to pay the fine. The police were then called, but had to leave to attend another incident after deeming the interaction between the two men to be civil.

Soon after this; following a heated debate between the pair, and Pontin handing Mr Bracey a business card so he could make contact to pay the penalty, the taxi pulled away. The court heard how Mr Bracey's arm was still inside the vehicle, with the passenger door open, catching the visitor and dragging him along the forecourt.

Mr Bracey said he then crawled to a nearby house to ask for help, before a motorist stopped and took him to hospital. He said he had been left with scars.

Judge Graeme McKerrell said he did not find Pontin's statement, that he had felt threatened by Mr Bracey, convincing; particularly because CCTV of the footage showed the taxi driver taking his time to hand over a card and put on his seatbelt.

Judge McKerrell also said he agreed with the police officer's assessment in interview that Pontin had driven away at a faster than usual speed, but did acknowledge the way Mr Bracey was acting was clearly a "taxi driver's worst nightmare."

Pontin was found guilty of assault; which meant the alternative dangerous driving charge fell away. He was also found guilty of failure to stop.

He will be sentenced on 12 July.

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