Carer hurled racist abuse at taxi driver and police officer

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A “binge-drinking” mum-of-two repeatedly hurled racist abuse at a taxi driver, then a police officer and attacked them both, after a night clubbing.

Jessica Horne (26), a carer for dementia sufferers, insulted Fiyaz Ahmed 20 times and spat at him in a shocking outburst that started at 5-30am in a cab office and lasted about 40 minutes.

When police arrived, she carried on being rowdy and made offensive remarks to PC Ivan Brown, an officer of mixed race, at the taxi office, on the way to the police station and at the custody suite.

She ended her tirade by booting him in the shin, leaving him gashed and in pain, Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told.

Horne had been out on the town with her then-partner, equally drunk Daniel Atkinson (28), who kicked a taxi and ended up in the middle of the road stopping traffic as he tried to flag down a passing car to get a lift home.

Horne, of Burnley Road, Briercliffe, Burnley, who was accompanied to the hearing by her father, admitted racially aggravated harassment, racially aggravated common assault and police assault, on January 22nd.

She received a community order, with a 12-week curfew, between 9pm and 7am. The defendant was ordered to pay £200 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. She had no previous convictions.

Atkinson, of Lincoln Road, Lancaster, pleaded guilty to damaging a Vauxhall Zafira and being drunk and disorderly in Church Street, Burnley.

The defendant, a water operative for the Canal and River Trust, was fined a total of £300 and must pay £50 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. The pair have now split up and appeared in the dock separately, with Horne’s case being heard first.

Prosecutor Andrew Robinson told the hearing that at 5-30am, Horne and Atkinson entered the taxi office on Church Street. Mr Ahmed told police the woman was asked where she wanted to go and said Harle Syke. She was told it would be £5 and then started to become racially abusive.

Mr Keith Rennison, in mitigation for Horne, told the court that regrettably her recollection was very limited due to her intoxication. She fully accepted everything that had been said. The defendant was extremely remorseful, sorry and tearful during her police interview.

Mr Rennison, who said Horne was now a single mother-of-two, went on: “She has referred herself to her GP as a result of these offences and she has been prescribed anti-depressant medication. It’s allowed her to keep working, which is something she is keen to do.”

He added: “She tends to be more of a binge drinker. Since this incident, she has tried to curtail her intake of alcohol.”

For Atkinson, Miss Deborah Morgan said he was similarly disgusted with his behaviour. She said :” He can recall little due to the amount of alcohol he had that night. He wasn’t involved in any of the language Miss Horne was using.”

Miss Morgan said Atkinson had had his coat stolen, with his phone and wallet, in a nightclub and had no money. He was trying to see if he could get a taxi home and pay for the journey the next day.

Sentencing, District Judge Alexandra Simmonds told Horne her behaviour had been “ absolutely appalling.” She said :” These are serious offences because of how long the incident went on for.”

She continued: “This does appear to be out of character for you because you have no previous convictions. I am told you work with patients with dementia and of course this conviction may now place your employment in jeopardy.”