Man racially abused taxi driver at King’s Lynn railway station, court told

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A man who hurled racist abuse at a taxi driver outside Lynn’s railway station has admitted racially harassing him.

Allan Clark, 55, of Keene Road, South Lynn, pleaded guilty to racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment when he appeared before magistrates yesterday.

He was ordered to pay £75 compensation to his victim, Tarek Salah-Eldin, which the bench said was the additional punishment imposed to reflect the racial nature of the offence, on top of a £110 fine.

Costs of £40 and a £30 victim surcharge were also imposed.

The court heard the incident began when Clark and a friend got into Mr Salah-Eldin’s taxi on the afternoon of September 25 last year.

Fergus Harold, prosecuting, said Clark disputed the £6 charge shown on the fare display and became abusive after it was explained that £5 was the starting Sunday fare.

Mr Salah-Eldin, an Egyptian national, told the pair to leave the vehicle and began to record the exchange on his mobile phone, which showed Clark using racist slurs towards him.

Mr Harold said that, although Clark was aggressive, no violence took place and CCTV footage showed Clark and his friend walking away.

Clark initially made no comment when interviewed by police and an identification procedure was arranged before his friend made a statement confirming they were the people seen in the footage.

In a second interview, he said he was “nuts” for using the words that he did, but claimed Mr Salah-Eldin had been abusive towards him.

George Sorrell, mitigating, said his client was “full of remorse” for the language he used, but did not regret disputing the fare.

He said: “He never thought of himself as a racist person, but he should never have uttered those words.”

He added that Clark was suffering from health problems from an incident last August, only a few weeks before the offence was committed, in which he was attacked and sustained head injuries.