Bereaved mum launched a prolonged attack on taxi-driver

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A bereaved mum launched a prolonged attack on a taxi-driver after he had tried to find her a cash machine so she could pay her fare.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how booze-fuelled Lucy Beresford, 39, of Nelson Close, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, attacked Albin Finch with punches and a kick in Matlock.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “She asked to go to Middleton-by-Wirksworth and asked to go to a cashpoint to get money at Wirksworth but the taxi-driver explained that sometimes did this and made off without paying and he stopped at a nearby machine.

“The defendant started fiddling in her bag saying she couldn’t find her phone and she became aggressive asking to be taken home where her dad would pay.”

Mrs Allsop added that Mr Finch decided to take her home but she became verbally abusive and he pulled in at the High Tor Hotel and he tried calling police and suddenly felt a blow to the back of his neck.

Mr Finch called 999 and Beresford began reining blows on him, according to Mrs Allsop, and she was pulling at his glasses and she jumped out of the vehicle and punched him in the face.

Mrs Allsop said that as Mr Finch opened his door to get her away she tried to get back in the car and he was pushed and kicked and then she fell on the ground.

The court heard that Beresford appeared to make a phone call and a vehicle pulled up and the taxi-driver drove away to avoid any further confrontation.

Beresford told police she had been drinking and she had wanted a cashpoint at Wirksworth but Mr Finch chose to find one in Matlock and she had panicked about losing her phone.

She added that if she had hit the taxi-driver it was because he had locked her in.

Beresford pleaded guilty to assault by beating after the incident on Bank Road, Matlock, on October 31.

Defence solicitor Kevin Tomlinson said Beresford had been under the influence of alcohol and had taken prescription drugs.

He explained that the defendant has been struggling after the death of her nine-month-old child in March from sudden death syndrome.

Mr Tomlinson said: “She doesn’t seek to excuse her behaviour and she wishes to publicly apologise for her behaviour and to apologise to the complainant whom she has known for many years.”

District Judge Andrew Davison sentenced Beresford to a 12 month community order with a 16-week curfew.

She was also ordered to pay £200 compensation, an £85 victim surcharge and £85 costs.