A man tried to dodge a Hackney cab fare and assaulted the driver after travelling from Chester Railway Station to Wrexham.
Louis Julienne, 20, of Cemetery Road, Johnstown, Wrexham, was found guilty in his absence of defrauding and the assault by beating of taxi driver Neil Hughes.
A warrant for Julienne’s arrest was issued immediately after the trial at Chester Magistrates Court yesterday.
The incident happened on April 6, 2016 at about 10.30pm when Julienne asked Mr Hughes, who was parked up at Chester Railway Station, to take him to Wrexham.
Mr Hughes told the court Julienne asked how much the fare would be and he said it would be £30.
Mr Hughes told the court Julienne told him the police wanted him out of the city centre but that he did not have any cash on him.
He told the taxi driver that his nan was waiting at Wrexham Railway Station for him and would pay the fare when they got there.
Mr Hughes said he gave Julienne the “benefit of the doubt” but warned him that if his grandmother was not there then he would be taken back to Chester and the police would be called.
Mr Hughes said that when they got near the Racecourse football ground, Julienne said it was “getting late” and his nan “might not be there”.
When they arrived at Wrexham Railway Station, Julienne’s nan was nowhere to be seen and he asked the driver to take him a little further, to her home.
Mr Hughes said: “His hand was on the handle of the door. I anticipated that and I had my foot on the brake so he couldn’t get out. He tried to open the door and I said you can’t get out, when you haven’t paid.”
The taxi drove a short distance to where Julienne said his grandparent lived.
He asked to get out to collect the money off his nan from “around the corner” and said she “didn’t like vehicles outside the house”.
Mr Hughes made the decision to take Julienne back to Chester.
He said: “When he realised he was going back to Chester, he was getting mouthy. He managed to get his hand through the little gap where you pay money.
“He grabbed my collar and pulled me back and scratched down the back of my neck.
“I had to pull his hands off me while I was driving.”
Mr Hughes said Julienne spent most of the journey back punching and kicking the plastic behind his seat.
Julienne was also “pretending to ring people saying he was going to do me in”.
Mr Hughes added: “He asked me whether I wanted to die in Chester or Wrexham. I said Chester was better for me.”
When the taxi arrived back at Chester Railway Station, the police arrived and spoke to Julienne in an effort to get him to pay Mr Hughes.
PC Samantha Knox said she and a colleague spoke to Julienne for “about an hour” to try to get him to pay for his taxi ride to Wrexham.
She said he told them he only had £5 on him but when pressed by police he produced a £50 note from his sock but refused to use it to pay the fare because the money was for his rent.
PC Knox said she tried to contact Julienne’s grandparent but the number she was given by him did not work and he only knew her as ‘Millie’ and did not know her last name.
Julienne was then arrested and searched. He was found to be in possession of cannabis.
As a result of Julienne’s actions, Mr Hughes lost a day’s pay.
See full story in the Chester Leader