Armed police called after taxi driver abused, trial hears
ARMED police were called after a Polish taxi driver was allegedly assaulted and racially abused in Cirencester in May last year, a trial has heard.
The jury at Gloucester Crown Court were told yesterday that Swindon cabbie Jack Alexandrovic, 24, had driven a man and a woman from Fairford to Cirencester on May 10 last year, but when he had asked for his £26.60 fare, the two ignored him and walked away.
Prosecutor Martin Steen said that, when went after the couple, a number of people emerged from a nearby flat on Stepstairs Court.
Mr Steen said one of the men, 46-year-old Darren Simpson, approached Mr Alexandrovic and tried to take the keys from the ignition.
"Apparently Mr Simpson had been told that the taxi driver had kidnapped the woman passenger who had been in the car earlier, Julia Roberts,” he said.
"On his own admission, Mr Simpson was at that time five on a scale of one to 10 in terms of inebriation.
He also later told a doctor at the police station that he had taken illicit drugs that night.”
Mr Steen continued that Mr Simpson, who later admitted having taken drugs and described himself as “five on a scale of one to ten” in drunkenness, swore at Mr Alexandrovic and threatened him.
He added Mr Alexandrovic had driven about 150 yards down the road, concerned he would be assaulted, when he saw Mr Simpson coming towards him with what appeared to be a 20cm knife in his hand and called the police.
"Because of the nature of his call the police turned up in force, armed and concerned,” he said.
The household where Mr Simpson had been partying with his friends was surrounded and he was quickly arrested.
When he was interviewed, Mr Simpson said he had been drinking at a friend’s house when Julia Roberts arrived and said someone had been kidnapped by a taxi driver.
He said he had gone outside to see what was happening and had approached the taxi driver to take his keys, who had punched him in the chest and drove up the road.
He said he then returned to his friend’s flat and continued drinking. "He said he could not remember making any racially abusive remarks,” he said.
Mr Simpson of School Lane, Cirencester, denies racially aggravated assault of Mr Alexandrovic, an alternative charge of battery and possessing an offensive weapon.
The trial continues.