Falkirk taxi driver subjected to racist abuse

A drunken offender hurled vile abuse and unleashed racist rants about the same taxi driver on two separate occasions.

By Court Reporter
Monday, 3rd January 2022, 3:36 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd January 2022, 3:37 pm

On the second occasion Craig Bell (51) then turned his attention to his partner, forcing her to ask him to leave her house.

He then proceeded to leave a constant stream of phone messages for her over the next two days.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Bell had previously pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour at an address in Glynwed Court, Falkirk on September 17 and between October 5 and October 7, 2021.

Bell hurled racist abuse at the taxi driver and head butted his cab window

Robbie McDougall, procurator fiscal depute, said Bell had been travelling in the taxi with his partner and became aggressive, head butting the window of the taxi and shouting and swearing racist remarks as he did so.

Bell’s partner apologised to the taxi driver for Bell’s behaviour before entering her home.

A month later and Bell got into the very same taxi, again with his partner, with the same driver at the wheel.

"The witness observed it was the same driver in relation the previous incident,” said the procurator fiscal depute.

Bell was subsequently warned not to say anything.

When they arrived at the address the taxi driver asked the woman if she was okay and Bell began banging on the window of the taxi, asking what was going on.

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He began shouting and swearing racist remarks, saying he hated people like the taxi driver and they should not be in this country.

The woman then told Bell to leave the premises, which he did, but then began to bombard her with constant phone messages over the next two days.

Defence solicitor Lynn Swan said: “He very much regrets his behaviour in September and October and is very remorseful in relation to these incidents. He was consuming a significant amount of alcohol at the time of these incidents.

"He is currently addressing this issue which seems to be behind his offending. He doesn't like to think himself as racist, but accepts these incidents must have taken place, although he has little memory of what took place.”

She added Bell’s relationship with the woman had come to an end following his behaviour towards her and he had now been assessed as being suitable to attend the Caledonian domestic abuse programme to help him deal with his problems.

Sheriff Alison Michie noted Bell’s “fairly significant” criminal record and the fact alcohol had played a major role in these most recent offences.

She placed Bell, 1 Flat 6 Paterson Tower, Falkirk on a supervised community payback order for two years with the condition he attend the Caledonian domestic abuse programme during the period and complete 170 hours unpaid work within 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay the taxi driver £400 compensation – £200 within seven days and the remaining balance at a rate of £50 per month.

Bell was also made subject to a non-harassment order not to have any contact with his former partner in any way for the next two years.

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