A drink and drug-crazed passenger who attacked a cabbie at the wheel — causing him to drive into a pole, roll down an embankment and break a rib — has been jailed for three years.
Alfie McGurk (27) stuck his fingers in taxi driver Piotr Tadeuszewski’s mouth as he was driving him home to Denny after a night out in Stirling.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, McGurk, whose address was given as HMP Low Moss, Bishopbriggs, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Tadeuszewski to his severe injury on July 3, robbing him of his driver’s log, racially-aggravated threatening behaviour and police assault.
Prosecutor Cheryl Clark said Mr Tadeuszewski (59) — who was also left with facial swelling and a possible traumatic lung contusion — had to wake McGurk up to ask him exactly where he wanted to go. McGurk soon became agitated about losing £20 and demanded to be taken to Denny Police Station.
Miss Clark said: “Mr Tadeuszewski turned the taxi to head for Denny. The accused moved seats to sit behind Mr Tadeuszewski. The accused grabbed him from behind using both his arms. The accused then stuck his fingers into his mouth like a fish hook and pulled at his face.”
The taxi driver lost control and struck a telegraph pole before rolling down a bank. After leaving the vehicle, the cabbie ran for a nearby guest house. At around 4am the owner was woken by Mr Tadeuszewski, who told them McGurk was “trying to kill” him.
Police were called and arrived at about 4.10am. Officers also received reports of someone in an outbuilding at Bentend Farm in Denny. There they found McGurk who became racially abusive after being handcuffed and directed homophobic abuse at officers before spitting in the face of PC David Fisher.
Harry Couchlin, defending, said McGurk didn’t remember the events as he had “fallen into using drink and drugs” after the end of a relationship.
Sheriff John Mundy sentenced McGurk to three years in jail, backdated to July 5.