A JUDGE blasted an ex-football steward for being as “drunk as a skunk” during a raucous taxi ride which ended with the driver being attacked.
Raymond Braithwaite, 40, punched the driver in the face and kicked him in the leg following the cab journey from Leeds to Harrogate.
York Crown Court heard that Braithwaite, of Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate, had got into the cab with two women who were equally as drunk and said to be just as rowdy.
Prosecutor John Bull said Braithwaite, who has a long criminal record, made a thorough nuisance of himself on the ride home after becoming “completed incapacitated” through drink.
He attacked the taxi man after he and the two women had been dropped off in Bower Street at 9.15pm on February 27.
The driver was relatively unscathed, but Braithwaite was arrested and charged with common assault and threatening behaviour. He appeared for sentence on Friday after admitting the offences.
Mr Bull said Braithwaite had 68 previous convictions for offences including shoplifting, wounding, assaulting a police officer and robbery. He had had spells in prison and a young-offenders’ institution for offences dating back more than 20 years.
In January this year, magistrates gave the jobless former steward a six-month conditional discharge for criminal damage, but the order was breached within a month when Braithwaite got tanked up in Leeds.
A probation officer said Braithwaite had worked as a football steward at various grounds and had just completed a stewarding course to NVQ level.
Defence barrister Matthew Donkin said Braithwaite had a drink problem which had superseded his previous drug habit.
“He has a long history of drink-related anti-social offending,” added Mr Donkin.
Judge David Batty QC slammed Braithwaite for his “appalling” criminal record, adding: “This was a really disgusting incident in the taxi. You were absolutely as drunk as a skunk with two girls, creating mayhem for the taxi driver.”
Mr Batty gave Braithwaite a four-month suspended prison sentence with a 12-month alcohol-treatment programme and rehabilitation course.
The judge - who suspected that Braithwaite was drunk during the court hearing - said that if the order was breached, “I’ll reserve this case to myself, you’ll come back before me, and - drunk or sober - you’ll be locked up.”