Judge tells taxi-row man: ‘Control your temper before you kill someone’

Teesside Crown Court.
Teesside Crown Court.

A 27-year-old man was warned by a judge to control his temper before he kills someone.

Judge Sean Morris gave the advice to Martin Oliver while sentencing him for criminal damage to a taxi, and for verbally abusing the owner.

The judge told Oliver, of Dryden Street, Hartlepool, “You really must learn to control your temper.

“If you do not, you have all the hallmarks of someone who will go on to commit a really serious offence such as murder or manslaughter.”

Teesside Crown Court heard Oliver was caught on CCTV climbing over the roof of the taxi when it was parked outside its owner’s house in Raeburn Street, Hartlepool.

Oliver was rude and abusive to the taxi driver when he was asked to pay for the damage.

Oliver admitted damaging property between July and August, last year, and he admitted using threatening words or behaviour

He denied racially aggravated harassment, racially aggravated criminal damage, and affray, all on October 9, last year.

The prosecution claimed Oliver made a racially offensive remark to the taxi driver.

A jury was told Oliver’s previous convictions include offences of criminal damage, affray, threatening behaviour, inflicting grievous bodily harm, burglary, and three offences of battery.

Oliver told the jury: “I always plead guilty to what I’ve done, I’ve never had a trial before.

“I admit I damaged the taxi and I swore at the owner, but I did not make any racially offensive remark to him.”

The jury found Oliver not guilty of racially aggravated harassment, racially aggravated criminal damage, and affray,

Judge Morris sentenced Oliver to a community order of 12 months, and 150 hours of community work.

The judge told him: “If you do not comply with any part of the sentence, we will meet again and I could still lock you up.”