A FORMER soldier head butted and repeatedly punched a taxi driver in a road rage attack over a parking space at Leeds railway station.
David Beaumont, 43, was spared an immediate prison despite the severity of the assault after a court heard how he is struggling to cope with the horrors experienced while serving in Northern Ireland.
Leeds Crown Court heard Beaumont and the driver began arguing with each other over a parking space outside Leeds station around 7.30pm on June 26 last year. Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said both men got out of their vehicles and shouted at each other. Beaumont then insulted the driver as he made his way back to his vehicle. The driver then turned around and walked back up to Beaumont. Mr Ritchie said that during the confrontation Beaumont, described as a “heavily built” former soldier, carried out a sustained attack on the victim which was caught on CCTV. The taxi driver was head butted and then punched repeatedly until he fell to the ground and collided with a steel bollard. Mr Ritchie said: “The prosecution case is that this was a road rage incident.” The victim suffered a fractured nose. Beaumont, of Arley Terrace, Armley, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Beaumont suffered from post traumatic stress disorder as a result of his time in the forces in which he witnessed the death of his close friend.
He said Beaumont continued to receive treatment but often felt anxious in public.
Beaumont was given an 16 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay £500 compensation to the victim.
Recorder Ray Singh said: “This was not a single blow. It was a sustained and violent assault.”