A TAXI driver was assaulted by his fare who also racially abused him.

Blackburn magistrates heard James Wedderburn had been "in a bad place" at the time of the incident which happened two days after an eight year relationship had ended.

Wedderburn, 31, of Howard Close, Accrington, pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault on Zaheer Ahmed. He was made subject to a community order for six months with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £50 and ordered to pay £75 compensation, £85 costs and £85 victim surcharge.

Passing sentence the chairman of the magistrates said taxi drivers provide a public service and should be treated with respect.

"They shouldn't have to worry what is going to happen to them when they allow someone into their car," he added.

Alex Mann, prosecuting, said Mr Ahmed picked the defendant up in Edgar Street and was taking him home. Throughout the journey Wedderburn kept asking him to turn the music up, despite Mr Ahmed explaining that he couldn't because it might disturb people who were sleeping.

"The defendant asked him to stop a few hundred yards from Howard close and then started shouting racist abuse at him," said Mrs Mann. "He grabbed the driver by his jacket and pulled him across the car."

Helen Farnsworth, defending, said her client had numerous issues and had been diagnosed with ADHD when he was 13.

"This occurred a couple of days after an eight year relationship had ended and he accepts he had drunk too much," said Mrs Farnsworth.