Racist thug hurled abuse at Falkirk taxi driver because he ‘was not white’

A racist taxi passenger who got angry that the driver of the cab “was not white” has been spared jail.

Craig Bell, 51, asked the driver his name and then “became very abusive” to him as the 30-year-old cabbie was bringing Bell and a woman passenger back to Falkirk from Glasgow.

Prosecutor Robbie McDougall said: “He seems to have become angry at the fact that the driver was not white and asked him what kind of name that was.”

On arrival at their destination in Glynwed Court, Falkirk, Bell “exited and opened the driver’s door”.

The driver asked Bell what he was doing and shut the door, which, Falkirk Sheriff Court was told, just seemed to make Bell angrier.

Bell head-butted the taxi window before walking off into the common close at Glynwed Court shouting, “f****** P*** b******” — leaving the female passenger to apologise to the taxi driver.

The incident happened around 3.00 am on September 17th (2021)

Less than three weeks later, about 7.30 pm on October 5th, Bell and his then partner Sarah Toner, 38, got into a taxi at a rank in Falkirk Town Centre, which turned out to have the same driver.

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Mr McDougall said: “On observing the accused, the driver requested that he didn’t speak, due to the previous encounter.”

On arrival at Glynwed Court, Bell got out while Miss Toner paid the taximan, but Bell began to shout, “What the f*** is happening?” and banged on the window.

Bell was warned to stay calm, but one inside the bock of flats he began shouting and swearing, “F****** P*** b******, I hate P****, they shouldn’t be in this country”.

He was asked to stop but refused, and Miss Toner then started to record him on her mobile phone.

Miss Toner repeatedly asked him to stop, which he refused to do, and she then asked him to leave.

Over the next few days he “constantly” messaged her, as well as calling her and phoning her landline, and eventually the police were contacted and Bell was arrested.

Bell, unemployed, of Paterson Tower, Falkirk, pleaded guilty to using racially and domestically aggravated threatening and abusive behaviour.

Solictor Lynne Swan, defending, said he had been consuming alcohol “a significant amount” at the time of the incidents, and his relationship with Miss Toner ended after the second incident.

Mrs Swan said: “He doesn’t like to think of himself as racist, but accepts this must have taken place.”

Sheriff Alison Michie sentenced Bell to carry out 170 hours of unpaid work and ordered him to pay £400 compensation to the cabbie — who wasn’t named in court.

He was also placed under social work supervision for two years, ordered to attend a domestic harm reduction course, and made subject to a non harassment order not to approach or contact Miss Toner, also for two years.

Sheriff Michie told him: “You have a fairly significant record. You should be clear — this is an alternative to a custodial sentence.”

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