Judge: Give up a beer a day to pay your victim
ALCOHOLIC Darren Simpson has to give up a can of beer a day – and pay the money he saves to the Polish taxi driver he racially abused.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC told the 47-year-old that he would have to pay £250 in compensation to Jack Alexandrovic at the rate of £7 a week.
"That is equivalent to one can of beer a day," the judge told Simpson at Gloucester Crown Court.
The judge had earlier been told that although Simpson is on Jobseekers Allowance he still drinks three cans of beer a night – but that is less than he was knocking back at the time of the offence and during his trial last month.
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Judge Tabor asked his solicitor Paul Trotman how much Simpson spends on a can of beer and was told £1.
The judge then did the calculations that if Simpson cuts down by a can a night he will save £7 a week or £28 a month. He ordered him to pay that money over the next nine months to the Swindon based cabbie.
Simpson of School Lane, Cirencester had been convicted by a jury last month racially aggravated assault on Jack Alexandrovic – a Pole who has been living and working in the UK for five years.
During a three-day trial the jury heard that Swindon V Cars cabbie Mr Alexandrovic was punched in the face by Simpson moments after he had dropped off a fare in Cirencester, on May 10 last year.
Mr Alexandrovic said he had never been so badly treated before and was worried and frightened by the experience.
He told how he had picked up a man and a woman in their fifties that evening in Fairford and driven them to Stepstairs Lane, Cirencester.
The court heard the couple did not pay their fare and told the driver to head to a nearby address for the money. It was there that Simpson hit him in the face with a closed hand.
The jury has been told that his 999 call after the attack prompted a full scale police response with armed officers surrounding the area and arresting Simpson.
In evidence, Simpson denied using racist language or hitting Mr Alexandrovic and he said it was another man who did that.
After the jury convicted him of the assault the court heard Simpson has 20 previous convictions for 73 offences.
The judge told Simpson he was lucky he was not going to prison. He sentenced Simpson to a four months jail term suspended for a year and placed him under a nine-month supervision order with alcoholic rehabilitation.
He also ordered him to pay the cabbie £250 compensation by cutting down on the booze.