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Taxi Driver Loses Appeal Against Conviction For Assault On Passenger | Taxi Rank

Hot! Taxi Driver Loses Appeal Against Conviction For Assault On Passenger

Taxi driver Hassan Hoviat-Doust had an unusual way of protesting against his conviction for assaulting Roxana Massoumi in July 2011: He sewed his mouth shut but his appeal was in vain as the conviction was upheld. He pleaded not guilty to the charge at the original case and was dismayed to be found guilty. Hoviat-Doust was arguing with Massoumi over a fare before things took a turn for the worse. The passenger called the taxi firm who employed the driver but he became abusive towards her. The driver was convicted of stopping the cab and assaulting the passenger by physically removing her from the cab before driving off.

The driver claims that the passenger was being abusive towards him and he asked her to leave the cab. However, she ignored him and continued on the phone to his cab firm. According to Hoviat-Doust, he stopped the cab, went to her side and opened the door for her to get out. However, she turned away from him and continued to speak on the phone. The driver claimed that he tapped her on the shoulder and she eventually left the cab.

However, a magistrate’s court did not believe his story and found him guilty of assault. He was ordered to pay over £600 in court costs and £200 of compensation to the victim. He was also given a tagged curfew between the hours of 19:00 and 07:00 as well as being given an eight week community order. Because of the conviction, Hoviat-Doust has lost his license and is now struggling to earn money to support his family.

Richard Mahwinney was the recorder in this case and he heard evidence from both sides during the appeal. However, he said that the appeal panel were of the opinion that the original conviction was correct. Peter Drury was an independent witness and he claimed to have seen the driver throw the passenger out of the vehicle. This evidence tipped the balance in Massoumi’s favour.

The driver has completed his community order but now has to pay an extra £415 in costs on top of the original fees and compensation. Hoviat-Doust must also hand over all documents related to the original case. At the time of his conviction, the driver spent a total of three days outside of the Bristol Magistrates’ Court where he astonished passers-by by having his mouth sewn up in protest. He wrote on banners and claimed that his evidence was not heard. Despite having his appeal rejected, the driver refused to accept defeat and is adamant that justice will be served. According to a spokesperson for the city council, Hoviat-Doust did indeed have his licensed suspended once he had been convicted.

Source: thisisbristol.co.uk

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