Portsmouth police investigate after charity shop worker 'kicked by Aqua Cars driver'

A SHOCKED mum has told how she was kicked in the shin by a taxi driver after trying to pay her fare.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 12:30 pm

Charity shop worker Justine Grant travelled in an Aqua Cars taxi with her son from Bath Square, Portsea, to her home in Eastfield Road, Eastney, on Saturday.

When the driver pulled up she went to pay using a bank card but had difficulty.

The driver acted in a way that left Justine, 52, feeling ‘really unsafe’ fearing he would ‘kick off’ at any moment in front of her son, 23, who she said has mental health difficulties.

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Justine Grant said she was assaulted by a taxi driver outside her home in Southsea on October 17. Picture: Habibur Rahman

She said she would pay his manager, but wanted to leave the taxi. When he refused to unlock the doors she screamed until he did and she got out.

She told The News: ‘At this point I was standing at the very edge of the kerb and he came round to the front of the car and was so close to my face I could feel his breath on me and he was staring in my eyes.

‘I told him to back off or I would call the police so he pulled his leg back and kicked me right in the shin as hard as he could.

‘I’m still in shock now. I was a right state.’

Justine Grant said she was assaulted by a taxi driver outside her home in Southsea on October 17. Picture: Habibur Rahman

She added: ‘They say to women if you want to feel safe don’t walk anywhere, get a cab. But you’re not even safe in a cab.’

Justine reported this to Portsmouth City Council whose licensing officer said he was aware of the ‘absolutely shocking behaviour’.

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But the taxi is registered with Fareham Borough Council. The authority has confirmed it is investigating.

The taxi firm told The News the matter is in the hands of authorities.

Justine, who works in Chichester but does not drive, said police had not yet seen her.

She said: ‘I’m not going to let it drop. I’m absolutely disgusted.

‘I’ll never get in another taxi in my life. It’s buses all the way.’

Hampshire police confirmed the incident is being reviewed by its triage hub to allocate resources as it prioritises the most serious crimes and offenders.

‘It’s terrifying to me to think how the world is today,’ Justine added. ‘He’s obviously got a problem with women.

‘I said if I was a man you wouldn’t have spoken to me like this. If I was a man he would have said “alright try again”.

‘I felt so unsafe - I pretty much felt unsafe the moment I got in because of the way he was driving.’

A police spokeswoman added: ‘We have liaised with the licensing authority and this will be progressed as enquiries are made.

‘We were called at 6.30pm on Saturday, October 16 to a report that a 52-year-old woman had been assaulted on Eastfield Road, causing bruising to her shin.

‘This incident is currently under investigation.’

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