A BOLSOVER man who punched a cabbie has been spared a jail term that could have cost him his job in the Navy.
Nathan Edwards (21) was drunk when he and a pal got into Asif Khan’s taxi on October 13, Chesterfield magistrates heard.
Mr Khan wanted some money up-front and, as he drove the pair to a cash machine, he heard a conversation about fighting for the country and England being “for English people”.
“As he handed over change to them the defendant punched him to the head, causing no injury thankfully,” said Sherall Pickford, prosecuting.
“There was an unpleasant comment made by someone as the two of them walked away. Mr Khan called police immediately.
“He stated that the incident made him feel shocked and unsafe and worried what people getting into the taxi were going to do. He was assaulted while simply doing his job.”
Edwards, of Manor Court Road, Bolsover, admitted assault. He was cautioned by police for a similar offence as a teenager.
He told the court: “I’m ashamed. My friend and I were talking about Afghanistan because he is going into the army.
“I’m really sorry for what I have done. I am not that kind of character and I have cut down on drinking.”
A naval officer who attended court to support Edwards said custody could result in him being discharged from the forces.
The justices imposed a £473 fine and ordered him to pay £100 compensation to Mr Khan, with £85 costs.