A man sent a vile text message to an innocent taxi driver, claiming the cabbie was a “child molester”, a court heard.
Mark David Rushton (53) accused the victim of touching his 14-year-old daughter in the taxi - but Rushton didn’t have a teenage daughter and the upsetting allegations he made against the victim were all totally untrue.
Pennine magistrates were told how Rushton, who lives with his elderly mother, also sent other messages “referring to sex with young girls,” but got the wrong number by mistake and his shocked brother Philip received them instead of the intended victim.
Mr Philip Rushton was so disgusted with the texts, which came from a number he didn’t know, he called the police.
The defendant, who had bought a pay-as-you-go phone especially for the planned campaign against the cabbie, was found out after he went into a local shop for a top-up and was caught on CCTV.
Rushton, who is now be losing his sight and awaiting surgery, admitted two counts of sending a communication conveying an indecent/offensive message on or between last September 10th and 11th.
The Bench, who said his actions had caused substantial distress, imposed six weeks in jail, suspended for a year, with a 12-week, 7pm to 7am curfew, seven days a week.
The defendant, of Brougham Street, Burnley, was ordered to pay £100 compensation to both men, as well as an £80 victim surcharge.
Rushton told police he sent the texts as he wanted to get back at the victim for calling him names. He agreed they were grossly offensive.