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Mum who spat at taxi driver is handed suspended sentence

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

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A BURTON mum has been handed a suspended prison sentence after spitting on a taxi driver and using racist language following a drunken night out.

Emma Tift, 40, of St. Andrews Drive appeared at Burton Magistrates’ Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of using racially aggravated intentional words on April 13.

The court heard how Ms Tift had stopped the taxi on New Street at 4am and asked how much the fare would be to Horninglow. The driver told her it would be between £5 and £7 but that he needed some money up front as women often leave without paying when they are drunk. Tift told him that she wouldn’t be able to do that as she didn’t have any money on her, and that she usually pays £3.50

Emma Thompson, prosecuting, told Magistrates: “She told him ‘I bet you don’t even have a visa’ to which the taxi driver told her he was a British citizen. The defendant then said ‘you shouldn’t be in this country.’

“As she put her foot down to get out she then said ‘go back to your own country’ and leant into the window and spat at the driver.”

Nick Wendon, defending, told the court that the incident was totally out of character. He said: “She lives with her two sons who are 14 and 21. She is the sole breadwinner and provides for the younger son and the eldest works.

“She admits she was drunk and has no recollection of this happening. She is utterly ashamed and doesn’t know where it came from and understands it is completely unacceptable. She does not drink very often.”

Tift wept as Magistrates sentenced her to six weeks in prison which was suspended for 12 months. The clerk confirmed that she would have received a community order had it not been for the racial element.

Magistrates also ordered her to pay £100 compensation to the taxi driver as well as £85 costs and a victim surcharge of £80.

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