Drunken women guilty of racist abuse to taxi driver after 'God' row
A PAIR of drunken friends racially abused a taxi driver after he refused to take them all the way home following an argument about religion.
Tanya Brian and Angela Saunders said cabbie Mohammed Ashab was "dirty", swore at him and called him racist names when he stopped their journey in Derby on November 10.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court was told that Brian, 37, and Saunders, 38, had been drinking heavily and got into Mr Ashab's cab at 9.55pm outside the Byron pub, in Byron Street, Derby.
Once inside, they told him to go to Brian's address, in Hollis Street but, while en route, they started arguing with him.
Peter Bettany, prosecuting, said: "On the way, Miss Brian and Miss Saunders had a go at Mr Ashab because he gave way for a police van.
"He changed the subject, asking them if they'd had a good day to which one of the defendants replied, 'We always have a good day'.
"Miss Brian asked the driver if he had any children to which he replied, 'Yes, God blessed me with a son'.
"She said, 'Where is God?' to which he replied, 'God is everywhere'.
"She said, 'When we get back to mine, I'll show you God', which Mr Ashab saw as a threat.
"He stopped the car outside the Navigation pub."
Mr Bettany said Mr Ashab told Brian and Saunders, of Waterford Drive, Chaddesden, that he was not taking them any further and asked them to pay him the fare clocked up so far – £4.90.
As they got out, they shouted racist names at Mr Ashab as he followed them asking for the money.
The police then arrived and the pair were arrested and questioned.
Mr Bettany said: "In interview, Miss Brian said she had drunk 14 bottles of Budweiser lager.
"She denied she had called the taxi driver any racist names.
"But she had called the police and the operator said she had used racist names and the tape of their conversation was played back to her.
"Miss Saunders admitted in interview that she should not have used the racist names she did."
Brian admitted a racially-aggravated public order offence while Saunders pleaded guilty to racially aggravated threatening behaviour.
Rob Whetton, for Saunders and Sue McGarver, for Brian, said their clients had shown genuine remorse for their actions.
Magistrate Malcolm Prentice handed Brian a three-month community order, a three-month curfew from 7pm to 7am, £85 costs, £50 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.
He handed Saunders a six-month community order, £85 costs, £50 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.
He said: "Your behaviour was despicable, unnecessary and alcohol cannot be an excuse.
"I hope that is deeply imprinted in your minds today."