Cabbie left scarred after ‘appalling attack’ by drink-crazed boyfriend in Hartlepool

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A KIND-HEARTED cabbie who took pity on a distressed woman was battered and bitten by her drink-crazed boyfriend.

Caring Stephen Sanderson was left scarred and frightened to work, Teesside Crown Court was told yesterday when his attacker was jailed for 20 months.

Mr Sanderson was in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, working the night shift on November 24 last year when he came across the woman who said that she had split with her boyfriend and she had no money to get home.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said that he took pity on her and he drove her to her home in Seaton Carew.

He had just handed her a business card so that she could pay the fare later, when his door was wrenched open by the boyfriend Michael Hannon, 33, who repeatedly punched him, jumped on top of him, tried to bite his nose, and then bit his lip.

Mr Sanderson managed to push him away telling him that he knew him, and as he drove off Hannon an after the taxi.

Miss Atkinson said that Mr Sanderson’s wife and children were shocked by his injuries, and his five-year-old girl would not go near him.

He needed surgery for the bite on his lower lip, and he had seven appointments with his dentist for damage to his teeth.

He did not want to return to work for fear of being attacked again, but he did go back on reduced hours and wages.

Miss Atkinson added: “This happened to him as a result of him trying to do a good turn for a female.”

Hannon handed himself in to the police hours later, and he said that he was mortified when he saw what he had done to Mr Sanderson.

He said that he lost control when his partner arrived home after he got back, and he was suspicious when he saw that she had changed seats in the taxi after it left Hartlepool.

Paul Cleasby, defending, said that Hannon expected a jail sentence but he dreaded it because of the impact that it would have on his family for whom he was the only earner. He paid the rent on their private rental home and he also supported a student son from an earlier relationship.

Judge Howard Crowson told him: “This was an appalling attack, but I don’t need to tell you that because you know for yourself.

“The impact on this man and his family has been quite great, and the psychological effect has been great.

“He was trying to reason with you but you did not pay any heed to it because you were drunk.”

Hannon, of The Green, Seaton Carew, was jailed for 20 months after he pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding.