A taxi driver and one of his passengers have been sentenced after terrorising another motorist.
Cabbie Kamran Mahmood drove dangerously after pulling up alongside a man at traffic lights. His front-seat passenger – 21-year-old Simeon Quaile – then made racial comments about the colour of the man’s skin. Mahmood then followed the motorist by flashing his lights, beeping his horn and trying to overtake him.
Now 42-year-old Mahmood has been jailed for 10 months and Quaile sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, reports Stoke-on-Trent Live.
The incident dates back four years, but the victim still avoids travelling at night and does not travel alone, the court heard.
In a victim statement, he said: “On that night I was vulnerable. If I had not been able to evade them they would have tried to seriously injure or kill me. I was called disgusting names because I was white. This was pure hatred because of the colour of my skin.”
Mahmood, of Pretoria Road, Etruria, denied dangerous driving and Quaile, of Bycars Road, Burslem, denied racially aggravated fear or provocation of violence. Both men were found guilty by a jury.
Richard McConaghy, mitigating for Mahmood, said no damage was caused and no personal injury sustained by his client’s driving. The married dad-of-three has no convictions since 2000 and has not re-offended since this offence four years ago. Mr McConaghy added: “He was a taxi driver for a significant period of time. Following this incident, his licence was revoked. He has been working as a delivery driver since. That will come to an end today.
“He has been the sole breadwinner in his household. He lives with his wife and three children. He can demonstrate that he will not continue to criminally offend.”
Barry White, mitigating for Quaile, said his client was aged 17 at the time. He said Quaile maintains his denials but accepts the jury’s findings. Mr White said: “He has no previous convictions and no offending since. It was stupidity, immature bravado while having too much alcohol. There is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.”
Judge Paul Glenn said: “The victim was simply making his way home alone in a car at 11.30pm. He is a small man, then in his late 20s, an inoffensive individual, a sober individual. I heard his 999 call and his obvious distress. He became very upset when he gave evidence and had to relive these events.
“You, Mahmood, pulled your vehicle alongside him in the right-hand lane at traffic lights in the centre of Burslem.
“Quaile, you were a front-seat passenger. You decided to provoke him. You made racial comments about his colour. Your tone was aggressive. A rear-seat passenger joined in with similar comments. He was very frightened. He pulled away, you pursued him. Mahmood, you drove in a highly aggressive manner, intimidatory. You targeted him. You were flashing your lights, beeping your horn, trying to overtake him.
“I reject entirely your account that your passengers steered the car and activated the lights and horn or that they threatened you. But I am quite prepared to accept that you were egged on. You were trying to effect a confrontation.
“You, Mahmood, could have put an end to this by stopping the car. But you made a conscious decision not to do that. On two occasions you pulled in front of his vehicle, trying to stop it. The doors of the taxi were open.
“Quaile, you were the prime mover so far as the threats were concerned. Had he not got away I have no doubt at all he would have been assaulted.
“Quaile, you claimed you were misidentified. You gave evidence in a cocky and arrogant manner.”
Mahmood has also been handed a 29-month driving ban. Quaile’s suspended sentence includes a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 180 hours unpaid work. He must pay the victim £1,000 compensation. They are also both subject to a five-year restraining order.
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