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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Passenger racially abused Carlisle taxi driver

A taxi passenger has been fined £395 after he admitted racially abusing his driver during a journey.

At Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, Gary Robert Burns, 44, admitted a single charge of the racially aggravated harassment of his victim.

Prosecutor John Moran described how Burns had got into the taxi on the night of July 26 and told the driver where he wanted to go.

But during the journey the defendant became annoyed, saying that the route being taken was not his usual one.

He then began verbally abusing the driver, making racist remarks, Mr Moran told the court.

Once at his destination, Burns refused to get out of the taxi and demanded to know from the driver “where he came from”.

When the driver told him he was from originally from “Bangladesh” and had lived in the the country for the last 28 years, Burns shouted an insult and racist comments.

Burns also remarked that his victim had lived in the UK Too for him to return to his native country.

Burns of Corporation Road, Carlisle, handed magistrates a letter written but the contents were not read out.

He said he did not believe his comments had been racist and had been wrongly interpreted – despite entering a guilty plea to the racially aggravated offence.

Magistrates told Burns that he had to understand why his actions appeared racist, and that the taxi driver had simply been doing his job and should not have been treated as he was on that night.

As well as the fine, Burns was told to pay £85 court costs and a victim surcharge of £39.

After the hearing, Burns was asked outside of court if he would like to explain his behaviour and his only response was to claim that he is not a racist.

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