‘Panicking’ taxi driver drove off after hitting Norwich pedestrian

A taxi driver who ran into a pedestrian late at night in Norwich has apologised for driving off because he was 'in total shock'.

Stuart Osbourne was so stunned at hitting the man and seeing him roll across the front of his vehicle that he carried on driving, despite a broken windscreen and headlight.

Panicking about damage to his taxi, he drove to his boss's house to explain the incident and was about to turn himself in when police phoned to question him.

At Norwich Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, Osbourne, 34, of Gordon Road, Dereham, pleaded guilty to charges of failing to stop after an accident and driving a car in a dangerous condition.

He apologised for his actions, saying that in 10 years of professional driving he had never even had a complaint, and added: 'What I did was wrong and I'm ashamed of myself.'

Prosecutor Judith Piggin told the court that Osbourne had been driving on Upper King Street at around 10.50pm on April when a pedestrian 'who had been drinking' ran into the road in front of the car.

'The pedestrian flipped on to the car and landed on the windscreen of the defendant's vehicle, then slipped off on to the pavement,' she said.

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Osbourne told police he had stopped in Tombland seconds later, looked in his mirror and saw the man get up, smile, and walk away. The victim suffered bruising to his thigh in the collision, which happened at around 20mph.

Osbourne told the court: 'A member of the public came from the left of me and ran straight into my car at full force. He went on to the windscreen and was there for a second before he slid off to the floor, with me still driving on. At that stage I was in total shock.'

He was fined �150 and given seven penalty points for failing to stop, with no separate penalty for the second charge. He will also pay �100 costs.

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