A 19-year-old Poole barmaid who caused racially aggravated criminal damage has been fined £740 and given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Hannah Groves admitted breaking the window hinge of a taxi after a night out in Bournemouth, but denied her actions were racially motivated or that she racially abused the driver.
Groves told Bournemouth Magistrate’s Court that she had damaged the London-style cab because she was scared, after the driver had locked its doors following a dispute over payment.
The court was shown three photographs of the damage caused by Groves and a recording of an emergency call the taxi driver had made to the police, in which she was heard shouting.
Although the court did not hear Groves say anything racist in the recording, the prosecution used it as evidence that she was not scared, and asked her why she had not called the police herself if this was the case.
When asked if she had been in possession of her phone, Groves replied that she had.
After deliberation, magistrates found Groves guilty of the charge against her and ordered her to pay £120 compensation to the victim and £620 costs.
The chairman of the bench took into account during sentencing that Groves had not been involved in any similar type of incident before.
He warned, however, that if she were to get in further trouble with the police during her conditional discharge, this matter would be taken into consideration.