Conditional discharge for taxi driver

A woman said she was traumatised after a retired police officer turned taxi driver refused to let her out of his cab and later assaulted her.

Judith Wadson, 64, said: “I’m glad it’s behind me, totally behind me.

“It was like being in a nightmare. I wouldn’t want any woman to have to go through that.”

Ms Wadson added: “It was stressful going through this.

“It’s really important for women to speak up when something like this happens or otherwise nothing happens.”

The writer and chef, who was on her way from her home in Pembroke on June 5 last year to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital for an operation, was speaking after Colin Paynter pleaded guilty in Magistrates’ Court on Monday to an assault on her.

Ms Wadson said she had been told by hospital staff not bring valuables with her and only took $13 in cash, which she thought would cover the taxi trip.

She added: “I told him I had $13 and that I hoped that would be enough to cover the journey.”

But she said Paynter, 60, became upset that she had hired his cab without having enough money to pay for the trip.

Ms Wadson added Paynter told her it was illegal to take a taxi without the money to pay.

She said his conduct scared her and about two minutes into the trip asked him to stop and let her out.

But Ms Wadson added Paynter refused to listen and lectured her on the way to the hospital.

She said the fare on the meter was $11.20 on arrival and she put the $13 in the tray between the passenger and driver’s seat.

Ms Wadson added Paynter got out of the car and walked to the passenger side of the car.

She said she was alarmed by his behaviour, picked up the cash and tried to hand it to him as she got out of the taxi, but the money fell to the ground.

Ms Wadson said she rushed towards the hospital entrance, but Paynter followed her, blocked her path and attempted to push her.

Paynter told magistrate Craig Attridge he went “overboard” and should have behaved better.

He said: “I would like to apologise to Ms Wadson for my behaviour.”

Mr Paynter also apologised to the court. He added: “I’ve learnt my lesson that I cannot curtail people’s behaviour, but I can curtail my own.”

“I accept my actions were wrong that day towards Ms Wadson.”

Mr Attridge gave Mr Paynter an 18-month conditional discharge and told him to be careful how he dealt with members of the public.

Ms Watson said she was relieved that Paynter pleaded guilty and that she did not have to give evidence.

But she added she had hoped he would have been recommended for an anger management course.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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