Cabbie headbutted by van driver after junction road rage

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Len Chivers, 93, left, from Old Portsmouth and Vic Merry, 92, from Southsea 
Picture: Malcolm Wells (170825-9295)

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A VAN driver jumped out of his vehicle and headbutted a cabbie after being asked to stop blocking a junction.

Jake Morgan was partially blocking a turn-off in Albert Road on the day of the Great South Run last year while traffic was at near-gridlock.

But instead of shifting his van out of the way, the 27-year-old of Chelmsford Road, Copnor, reversed – 
and blocked the entire junction.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard taxi driver Jacek Dziedzic got out of his vehicle and remonstrated with the dad-of-one, who got out of his van and headbutted Dziedzic.

Witnesses saw the headbutt ‘connect with the taxi driver’s mouth and nose’ before Morgan punched the victim and got in his van, prosecutor Rob Griffiths told the court.

Another taxi driver, Turbut Edsin, got out of his car and stood in front of the van.

‘The defendant drove straight at him causing him to fall forward on the bonnet, Mr Griffiths said.

He drove forward three metres with him on the vehicle.

‘He heard someone say “stop it, are you crazy?”.’

In a statement the victim said: ‘He could have deprived me of my life. All that was needed was for me to hit my head a bit harder.’

During the incident a passer-by shouted for someone to get the van’s number plate as Morgan drove off.

‘They actually did physically take the number plate off the back of the van,’ Mr Griffiths told the court.

Morgan admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and dangerous driving on the basis he was not leaving the scene but drove off because his girlfriend, also in the van, was scared.

Mr Dziedzic, a dad-of-two, suffered a head injury and was taken to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

He initially lost hearing in his left ear and vertigo.

A CT scan found a suspected displaced fracture.

Sentencing Morgan, judge Sarah Munro QC banned him from driving for 12 months, and ordered him to pay £750 compensation to the headbutt victim and £250 to the other taxi driver.

‘This was a serious incident of road rage,’ the judge said.

Morgan received eight months for the ABH and four for the driving. Both were consecutive but suspended for two years.

He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £200 prosecution costs and take an extended retest if he wants his licence back.