Abusive passenger banned from seaside resort’s only taxi rank
An abusive passenger has been banned from a seaside resort’s only taxi rank after threatening two drivers during a long running vendetta.
Timothy Kelly attacked one driver when he refused to take him home because he had no money and then threatened him with more violence to stop him going to court.
He also made drunken threats to a second driver who was due to be a witness against him, Exeter Crown Court was told.
Kelly has now been banned from going near the taxi rank at Teignmouth, South Devon, and warned he will go to jail if he breaches the restraining order.
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Grandfather Kelly, aged 57, of Second Avenue, Teignmouth, admitted two offences of harassment and was ordered to receive alcohol treatment as part of a 12 months community order.
Judge John Neligan made a two year restraining order banning him from any contact with cabbies Robert Hawkins and Robert Jones.
He said he was taking into account that Kelly has already served the equivalent of a six months sentence while remanded in custody awaiting sentence.
He said:”You put Mr Hawkins and Mr Jones in fear of violence and they must have felt very frightened. That is harassment. Taxi drivers have a pretty vulnerable job, so they would have been intimidated.
“These offences were brought because you were drinking too much but you have had the good sense to realise that.
“You told the probation officer your period in custody has probably saved your life and I hope you will be able to control your use of alcohol.”
Mr Brian Fitzherbert, prosecuting, said the origin of the animosity between Kelly and the drivers was an incident in June last year in which he punched Mr Hawkins after he ordered him out of his can because had no money for the fare.
He approached him two months later and asked if he was going to court to testify against him and told him ‘when me and my brothers get hold of you we’re going to kill you’.
Mr Jones overheard the threats and also became a target after he confirmed them to the police and threatened him, offering to have a fight as he was picking up another passenger.
Kelly was eventually conditionally discharged for the common assault on Mr Hawkins but by then faced new charges arising out of his threats. He was arrested in May after making fresh threats and has been in custody since.
Mr William Parkhill, defending, said Kelly had dried out during his three months on remand and now appreciated his behaviour was caused by a spiral into alcohol abuse.
He said:”He went from being a social drinker to being a problem drinker to being a catastrophic drinker in very short order.”
He said Kelly has vowed to give up drink on his release and plans to devote himself to his family of children and grandchildren.