Woman pays for unruly behaviour during taxi journey

A taxi ride that got out of hand has cost a 24-year-old Halstead woman more than £200.

Jessica Lucas, of Windmill Road, was ejected from a taxi along with her friends because of their unruly behaviour. She was later found in possession of the cabbie’s stolen identity card.

Taxi driver Phillip Golding’s bag – also containing his wallet, cash and cigarettes – was taken but later recovered when the rest of the group were searched, Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday.

Lucas denied stealing the black leather shoulder bag, but admitted handling the stolen ID card on February 10.

Prosecutor Angela Hughes said Mr Golding collected Lucas and a large group of her friends in his minibus for a journey from Chelmsford to Halstead.

Some in the group felt the driver had handled one of their friend’s belongings and the cabbie got upset by the passengers’ behaviour.

“They were starting to kick in the back and pulling out the headrests so he pulled over and told them to get out,” said Mrs Hughes. “He saw one of them take his belongings.”

He said that police found the group and searched Lucas. The ID card was found in her purse.

In mitigation, David Cason said there were 11 men and women, many of whom had been drinking, in the cab and they had paid Mr Golding £150.

“They were boisterous and accused the taxi driver of stealing one of the men’s jumpers,” he said.

“He pulled over and refused to carry on. Somebody else took the driver’s bag. They wanted their money back.”

Walter Hall, chairman of the bench, told Lucas her behaviour was unacceptable.

“The taxi driver had every right to expect the people he carries in the back of his taxi are well behaved,” he said.

Lucas was fined £135 and told to pay court costs of £105.