‘If you fight at Town taxi rank expect to go to prison’
PEOPLE who fight at the Weighbridge Taxi Rank in future can expect to go to prison, a judge has warned.
Judge Gary Perry made the comment in the Magistrate’s Court yesterday when sentencing Jude Hurley, 18, of Paradis, Rue de Haut, Vale, to a sentence of community service after he admitted using threatening behaviour towards others there.
‘The taxi rank has become a tinder box for violence,’ said Judge Perry.
It only seemed to take a push, queue jumping, or a poor choice of words for severe violence to start, he said.
‘People need to know that sentencing will change, and the starting point for sentence will be custody.’
Crown Advocate Fiona Russell told the Magistrate’s Court how Hurley had reportedly drunk half a litre of vodka that night before going in to Town. There he visited a number of bars where he was served more spirits.
At 1.40am a party of four people were queuing for a taxi when Hurley approached and jumped in front of them and stood next to a friend. People became disgruntled at this and when a member of the group joked to Hurley that he should give them some of his pizza to buy his place further up the queue, he became abusive and called one of the women a slut.
An argument began which resulted in him pushing one woman to the ground and punching a male twice. One of his punches caught another woman on the nose by mistake. Hurley struck his head on the plastic side of the shelter during the fracas before he was dragged out if it. Others thwarted his attempt to get back in the shelter before police arrived.
He said in interview that he had been ‘blind drunk’ before getting to Town. He could not remember what happened but thought he might have pushed somebody, though he did not know why. When shown CCTV he said had not realised that the incident had lasted for so long and he was disappointed at his behaviour.
Defending, Advocate Paul Lockwood said his client had had too much to drink. He wished to apologise to police, the victims, and any other people who were there at the time.
Judge Perry said everybody made mistakes, but as far as mistakes went, this had been a pretty big one. An enjoyable night out for others had ended with them sustaining injuries through the defendant’s idiotic behaviour and he had said very little in relation to those who suffered.
Hurley was ordered to perform 100 hours community service as a direct alternative to four months’ youth detention.