A CHESTER man pulled the wing mirror off a taxi and then demanded its owner pay him to get it back. 

Kevin Barlow, of Holywell Lane in Clutton, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Tuesday afternoon for sentence.

The 45-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to one offence of criminal damage, which took place at Maes y Ficerdy in Rhos on August 19.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson told the court that at around 9.20pm, taxi driver Karim Abdul Laatif-Begum picked up the defendant in Abbot Street in the centre of Wrexham. 

Barlow told the victim to take him to his friend's home in 'Rhostyllen' and paid a £5.50 fare for the journey.

But when they arrived there, it became clear he didn't know his friend's address.

It turned out when checking over the phone that the address was actually in Rhos, which Mr Laatif-Begum said would cost a further £4.

Barlow paid the sum and after arriving at the destination he got out and started demanding £10 from the victim.

When he didn't receive the demanded money, he took hold of a wing mirror and pulled it off, telling Mr Laatif-Begum he could have it back if he paid £10 for it.

The victim locked his car as Barlow threw the mirror at his window.

Barlow was arrested and when interviewed, he told the police he'd consumed four or five pints that night.

He claimed it had been the victim who demanded more money from him and that the wing mirror simply 'fell off' when he leaned on it.

A probation officer told the court: "In terms of his record, he did have a criminal damage in 2019 and it is interesting to note that during that incident, Mr Barlow was the victim and damaged the perpetrator's car by kicking the wing mirror off.

"It shows a pattern of behaviour developing."

Ceri Lewis, defending, asked the court to give her client credit for his guilty plea, which he entered in October.

She said: "He is relatively lightly convicted.

"And following a mental health assessment, he is hoping to gain meaningful employment again."

Ms Lewis said he had previously engaged well with unpaid work and had found it gave him structure.

District Judge Gwyn Jones told the defendant: "That taxi is [Mr Laatif-Begum's] bread and butter - and when it's off the road, he's not earning anything.

"He is providing a valuable service and it is clear you reacted wholly and utterly inappropriately.

"That may be due to alcohol more than anything else. It is also clear on occasions you have difficulty in managing your emotions, and controlling your anger."

The Judge handed down a 12 month community order with 20 days of rehabilitation activity and 75 hours of unpaid work.

Barlow must also pay compensation of £590.48 and costs of £85.