Sheffield dad admits racially abusing taxi driver

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A DAD from Sheffield hurled racist insults at a taxi driver and damaged his cab in a dispute over a fare, a court heard.

Christopher Atkinson, aged 27, asked to be taken from Saltergate, Chesterfield, to Meadowhead at 4.40am, but became abusive when driver Shahid Parvez asked for £20 up front.

Atkinson, of Atlantic Road, Lowedges, said he would not pay and swore at the cabbie, telling him to ‘go back to his own country’.

He then kicked a sliding door on the taxi, causing an 8in dent.

Mr Parvez stopped a passing police van and Atkinson was detained as he tried to walk away.

He began to struggle with officers, who sprayed him twice with CS gas before he was subdued.

In interview, Atkinson said he had been drinking since 7pm and could not remember the incident.

Becky Mahon, prosecuting told Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court: “He said that when he gets drunk he does stupid things and can’t stop himself. He said he wasn’t a racist and he has Asian friends.”

Atkinson, a married businessman with young children, admitted racially-aggravated damage and resisting police.

John Wilford, mitigating, said: “He doesn’t go out drinking regularly but, when he does, he drinks too much. He hasn’t been out since this incident.

“He is married with young children and has just set up his own business.”

Sentencing was adjourned until next month.