Scared woman damaged taxi

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A WOMAN kicked a taxi’s door in a desperate bid to escape a man who had written “rapist” on the window.

Wigan magistrates heard Rebecca Dempsy and her sister had gone to a concert in Manchester on November 4 but were left stranded after the defendant’s bag was stolen and they missed the last train.

Dempsy, of Ashbourne Avenue, Whelley, and her sister decided to wait for the next train which left at 6am but they were approached by a man who chatted to them and said he was also heading for Wigan. He offered to take them in a taxi, which he would pay for, saying he wouldn’t want to leave the girls alone there.

Mark Ferguson, defending, said: “On the way back, the man started acting very strangely. He pulled a number of cosmetics out of his bag and started to spray them in the taxi. He also wrote ‘rapist’ on one of the windows with the cosmetics. He said he needed to urinate and got out of the taxi at some traffic lights to urinate which seemed to offend the driver.

“The taxi arrived outside Miss Dempsy’s house after which it had been arranged the driver would take the man to Wigan train station where he would pay the fare. But the driver became concerned that this wouldn’t happen and demanded payment.”

The court heard the driver locked the doors and refused to let any of them leave the taxi until he had been paid. When no-one paid, he began to drive them all back to Manchester.

Mr Ferguson added: “All Miss Dempsy wanted was to get home to her four-year-old son, who is disabled, and was becoming increasingly distressed at the situation. She began kicking the door and it was then the driver called 999 and took them all to the nearest police station. Miss Dempsy was just trying to get herself and her sister home safely and get away from the man who was acting strangely.”

Dempsy told the court that she was sorry about what had happened and that she understood that the driver would have been scared. She pleaded guilty to causing £300 criminal damage to the taxi and was given a community order and an eight-week curfew from 7pm until 7am. She was also ordered to pay £450 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge, £85 prosecution costs and a £150 court charge.

The male passenger was also arrested and charged with criminal damage but has pleaded not guilty and there will be a trial in the new year.