Taxi row ends with passenger driven off on bonnet 'clutching windscreen wipers'

The passenger was 'clutching onto the windscreen wipers' as the taxi driver drove out of the town centre.
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A private hire passenger ended up clinging to the windscreen wipers of a taxi after a heated row with the driver. Maissa Ledy drove off with Neil Hall on the bonnet after he stood in front of his Skoda in St Helens town centre and refused to move.

“You made the incredibly foolish decision to drive off with him still on the bonnet. You continued to drive out of the town centre for some time. He was clutching onto the windscreen wipers,” said Recorder Nicholas Williams. He pointed out that Ledy’s view was obscured by Mr Hall and at the same time Ledy was using his mobile phone to video him.

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“He was scared and shouting ‘call the police’ to members of the public and you drove in this way for a minute at a relatively slow speed. You stopped at some lights and police on foot patrol saw you and he got off the bonnet and the police came to speak to you.."

Ledy, of Elmfield Street, Smedley, Manchester, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and Liverpool Crown Court heard how the incident unfolded on the afternoon of June 28 last year.

Ledy arrived to pick up Mr Hall in St Helens to take him home and it was apparent he had been drinking. Whilst in the vehicle, Hall pointed out that the driver had missed a turning, which led to an argument and Ledy stopped the car.

“You said you were not prepared to take him and asked him to get out. He said he didn’t want to remain in the vehicle and  having got out he decided to keep your car there while asking for another vehicle to be sent,” said the judge.

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“He deliberately stood in front of your car and refused to move. There was a verbal altercation and at one point he made threatening remarks. You got back in and somehow he ended up on the bonnet of your vehicle."

“From the video footage taken by you on your own mobile it is apparent he decided to remain lying on the bonnet. It was stationary for a time and you were asking him to get off but he refused,” said Recorder Nicholas Williams. He added that, when interviewed, Ledy said he had been driving at 15 mph but it was clear from the video that he had been going faster.

Maissa Ledy leaving Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Lynda RoughleyMaissa Ledy leaving Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Lynda Roughley
Maissa Ledy leaving Liverpool Crown Court. Image: Lynda Roughley

“There was a significant risk of injury caused by your driving had he fallen off the bonnet. He could have been run over by your vehicle or another vehicle coming in the opposite direction and there was a risk of injury to pedestrians because  you could not clearly see where you were going," he continued.

Simon Leong, defending, said that Ledy has no previous convictions and has been a taxi driver for ten years. He has three children and he will lose his livelihood as he will lose his driving licence.

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Recorder Williams said he accepted that if Ledy was jailed his wife, who is awaiting brain surgery, and their children would be adversely impacted.

He sentenced him to six months imprisonment but suspended it for 12 months, noting: “You are not a danger to the public and there is a realistic prospect of rehabilitation." Ledy was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and banned from driving for 12 months.