Pair jailed over racist assault on Leeds taxi driver

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A taxi driver was racially abused as he was punched, kicked and stamped upon as his takings were stolen, a court heard.

Nathan Holden and Lee Yates took part in the attack along with two other men after the victim had taken them to a hotel in Leeds city centre.

Leeds Crown Court heard the driver picked up the four men from Winston’s Bar, in Beeston, at around 5am on the morning of Christmas Eve 2013.

Conor Quinn, prosecuting, said the victim took them to the Ibis hotel where two of the men got out. Yates and Holden remained in the vehicle. Yates then snatched a bag of money containing £86.

Holden then punched the driver in the face as he tried to retrieve the cash. He was then punched the floor after he got out of the vehicle and the other two men also joined in the attack. The victim suffered a broken nose and has given up his job as a taxi driver as a result of the incident. Holden and Yates were arrested and claimed they could remember little about the incident because they were so drunk.

Holden, of Swarcliffe Bank, Swarcliffe, Leeds, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault. Yates, of Eastwood Crescent, Swarcliffe, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault and theft.

Holden was given a 20-month sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

Yates was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and take part in the 30-day activity programme designed to address his offending. They were both ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the driver. Judge Sally Cahill, QC, said: “It is quite clear that you had a substantial amount to drink. That is absolutely no excuse.”