Woman fled taxi without paying £75 fare – but was caught after leaving handbag in cab

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.
Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

A reveller who took a £75 taxi ride from Newcastle to Hartlepool fled without paying the fare.

But Hayley Parker had left her handbag in the taxi with the driver, who took it to police. They then tracked her down.

She had intended to take the train to return home but was escorted from Newcastle railway station for being drunk, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“She and a friend took a taxi from the station,” said Katherine Hannah, prosecuting. “The driver asked if they had the money and was assured they had.

“The friend got out at an address in Hartlepool. Parker asked to be taken to another address.

“Upon arrival, she told the driver she would go into the house, where her mother would give her the money.

“The driver asked her to leave her handbag in the car as security, which she did.”

The court heard Parker walked a short way along the street before running out of sight.

“The driver took the handbag to Hartlepool police station,” added Ms Hannah. “The contents of the handbag enabled the police to trace the defendant.”

Parker, 20, of Marmion Close, Hartlepool, admitted making off without payment on July 18.

She had no previous convictions, but has a previous reprimand and a previous caution.

Tony Jackson, defending, said in mitigation: “Ms Parker had been drinking all day in Newcastle, and being unable to take the train, she took the stupid decision to take the taxi.

“She is seeking work, but the loss of her good character will not make that any easier.”

Parker was ordered to pay £300 in fines and costs, and £75 compensation to the taxi driver.