A man who was caught on CCTV climbing over the roof of a taxi while chasing his girlfriend denied racially abusing the taxi’s owner.
Martin Oliver caused damage to the roof and taxi sign of the Ford Mondeo, which was only four days old at the time, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Jenny Haigh told a jury that taxi driver Martin Cronin didn’t see the damage being done, but he knew a neighbour in Raeburn Street, Hartlepool, had CCTV. The footage clearly showed Oliver climbing over the car,” said Ms Haigh.
“Mr Cronin did not know Oliver’s name, but he knew he was the boyfriend of a girl who lived in the street.
“Two months later, Mr Cronin saw Oliver in the street and challenged him about damaging the car.
“Oliver was abusive to Mr Cronin and made a racially-abusive remark, even though Mr Cronin is a white English male.”
The court heard Oliver, and two people who have not been traced, are alleged to have burst into Mr Cronin’s house a few minutes after the street confrontation.
“Oliver knocked over a table as Mr Cronin was on the phone to the police,” added Ms Haigh. Oliver and the other two fled from the house.”
She said Mr Cronin noticed his taxi had been damaged again, this time the wing mirrors had been broken and went back inside his house, he found his taxi money had been stolen.
Oliver admits damaging the taxi twice, but denies entering Mr Cronin’s house and denies racially abusing him in the street.
Oliver 27, of Dryden Street, Hartlepool, admits damaging property between July and August, last year.
He denies racially aggravated harassment, racially aggravated criminal damage, and burglary, all on October 9, last year. He admits criminal damage on the same date.
l The case continues