Leicester man jailed for 'thug' attack on taxi driver
A "drunken thug" who attacked a taxi driver, leaving him with a broken eye socket, has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.
Anthony Bott (22) was arrested after a police appeal in the Leicester Mercury.
Passengers who shared the cab trip home with him came forward after seeing the news report.
They were dropped off earlier during the journey, after a night out in the city centre, and did not see the attack.
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Bott was the last to be taken home.
He announced he had no money, for the £9 remainder of the fare, when he arrived near his home in Netherhall, Leicester.
The private hire driver said he would call the police.
Bott then attacked him, in the early hours of Sunday, February 26, last year, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Gary Short, prosecuting, said Bott was drunk after consuming 12 pints of lager.
He said: "The defendant punched him in the face twice.
"It caused him to fall to the ground and at that point, the defendant simply walked away."
He said the victim got to his feet and phoned the police.
Mr Short said: "There was a police appeal in the Leicester Mercury and three girls who had earlier shared the journey came forward to give statements and named this defendant.
"He was arrested on March 1 and in interview asserted he didn't realise he had no money.
"He said the driver asked for the fare and he said he would go inside to get some money, but the driver didn't want that to happen.
"He claimed he was acting in self-defence, fearing an attack from this 53-year-old man.
"The police then charged him."
Bott, of Netherhall Road, Leicester, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm.
The victim suffered a fractured eye socket and facial injuries. He has ongoing dental problems that will cost nearly £500 to resolve.
Judge Simon Hammond said: "I congratulate the Leicester Mercury, because people came forward and information was passed leading to an arrest.
"This man behaved like a drunken thug.
"Taxi drivers perform a very important public service, taking people home after public transport has stopped.
"They are vulnerable and deserve protection from the courts, especially from drunken men who use violence towards them."
In mitigation, the court heard that Bott, who works in the plumbing trade, was supported by family, friends and his employer who had all attended court.
He was a hard-working young man, who acted wholly out of character, said his defence advocate, Steven Newcombe.