Thug headbutted cabbie at 70mph on A19 near Hartlepool

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THIS is the thug who launched a violent attack on a taxi driver as he was travelling at 70mph down a dual carriageway.

Anthony Coyle first headbutted and then punched the cabbie, knocking his glasses from his face, as they travelled down the A19, on the outskirts of Hartlepool.

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Hartlepool magistrates heard the 25-year-old had booked the taxi from Peterlee firm, Red Line Taxis, to travel from the Horden Labour Club to Middlesbrough.

The driver, from Crimdon, arrived at the club just before 8pm to collect Coyle.

Coyle asked the driver to first take him to a nearby off licence where he went inside and bought a bottle of wine to drink on the journey.

But as the taxi travelled along the A19, Coyle began to bang on the dashboard and the driver asked him to stop.

Coyle then jumped towards the driver and headbutted him “hard to the side of the head.”

The yob then punched him to the left side of the face, the force of which knocked his glasses off.

The taxi driver pulled off the A19 and into the car park of The Windmill pub, at Dalton Piercy, where he went inside and phoned police.

Prosecuting, Joanne Hesse told justices: “The complainant picked Coyle up from the Horden Labour Club with an agreement of a £20 fare to take him through to Middlesbrough.

“En route they stopped off at a shop where the defendant bought a bottle of wine. He was drinking it and then started braying on the dashboard of the taxi.

“The taxi driver asked the defendant to stop several times and on doing so the defendant headbutted the driver hard to the side of the head while travelling at 70mph on a major road.

“The driver said it shocked him, but then the defendant punched him to the left side of the face knocking his glasses off.”

She added: “He drove off the A19 into a pub car park and rang police from the pub.

“Ten minutes later the defendant came into the pub at which point the complainant left and got into his taxi.

“He suffered soreness to the head and said he wouldn’t be seeking medical treatment at the time, but would if necessary.”

Coyle, of Maritime Crescent, Peterlee, pleaded guilty to the assault by beating charge, which happened on April 6.

The court also heard that at the time of the offence he was subject to a community order for assaulting a police officer, and has other public order offences on his record.

Chairman of the bench Keith Kitching adjourned sentencing Coyle until Monday next week for the completion of a report by the Probation Service.

The defendant’s solicitor Alex Clancy did not offer any mitigation on her client’s behalf at this stage.