A taxi driver was subjected to racist comments during a “torrent of abuse” after he refused to take a passenger, a court has heard. 

The male driver was branded a sexual abuser and a foreigner during a heated dispute when he asked a female passenger to get out of his taxi after being called to Honey Close in Heartsease.

Appearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court, Katie Aldus, 19, of Crown Hill in Horsford, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated abuse and criminal damage over the incident in August 2022. 

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The court was told she had been helping a friend into the taxi when a dispute over whether she would be safe saw her abuse the driver and kick his taxi damaging its door.

Rima Begum, prosecuting, said the driver had never experienced this type of racism before and that it had made him think whether moving to Norwich from London four years ago had been the right decision. 

Eastern Daily Press: Katie Aldus pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates' CourtKatie Aldus pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates' Court (Image: Newsquest)

In a victim statement read in court, he said: “The incident has made me feel quite angry and disappointed. 

“The girl was shouting at me about another taxi driver which had nothing to do with me and she kept using the word foreigner and insinuating that we were all rapists.

“She didn’t know me and I found it offensive that she was calling me an abuser and a foreigner.”

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The court was told Aldus had previously been the victim in a separate incident involving another taxi driver and that “this was still relatively raw”.

“It was a mistake to make these comments she now accepts,” said her defence solicitor.

Ordering she pay the taxi driver £1,450 compensation, District Judge Sundeep Pankhania said she had targeted her “torrent of abuse” against “foreigners", not taxi drivers more generally.  

“This was absolutely disgraceful and when people talk to taxi drivers, or other people who are serving the public, in this way they deserve the courts to come down hard on them,” he added.