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Man fined $300 for skipping $28 cab fare

Magistrates' Court (file photograph)

A man who failed to pay a $28 taxi fare was this morning fined $300 in Magistrates’ Court and ordered to compensate the driver.

David Robinson, 29, pleaded guilty to failing to pay a taxi operator for services provided on the evening of January 15.

The court heard that at around 8.20pm a taxi operator was dispatched to Knapton Hill to collect a fare under the name “Trott” and was provided a phone number to call.

The driver called the number after he was unable to find the passenger and was told he was now near Harrington Sound School. There, he found Robinson, who was holding a pizza.

Robinson told the driver that he needed to drop off the pizza at a home on Cedar Park before continuing his journey to Front Street. The driver took Robinson to Cedar Park, where he got out of the vehicle, walked through a gate and around the house.

Several minutes later, when Robinson had not returned, the driver again called the number he had been given, but the phone number had been turned off. He subsequently made a complaint to police, who were able to identify the phone number as belonging to the defendant.

After pleading guilty, Robinson apologised to the court, saying he had told police that he had spoken to the driver and wanted to pay him for the $28.15 fare.

While he asked the court for an absolute discharge, senior magistrate Juan Wolffe said that because of the defendant’s past convictions for dishonesty an absolute discharge was not appropriate.

Mr Wolffe fined Robinson $300, ordering that he also repay the taxi driver.

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