A taxi office worker who was the victim of racist abuse from a disgruntled customer says she is pleased by the sentence he received.

As previously reported in the Echo, Leo Pragnell pleaded guilty to racially abusing Fleetline Taxi worker Avril Bailey in Weymouth and to criminal damage by smashing the window of Quayside Leather.

Pragnell, aged 19, of Bridlebank Way, Weymouth, appeared again in Weymouth Magistrates Court on Wednesday, July 3 for sentencing.

Elizabeth Valera, prosecuting, summarised the case saying that on Sunday, October 29, 2023, a drunk Pragnell had become 'unhappy' after being told to wait for a taxi at the Fleetline Taxi office on Westham Road.

Read more: Taxi worker tells of disgust after she's called 'dirty immigrant' by angry customer

Fleetline OfficeFleetline Office (Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

He punched a wall and a metal shop shutter and was then told by Ms Bailey that he would not be getting a taxi with Fleetline.

He then told Ms Bailey that she 'belonged on a dinghy' and other racist slurs and insults before crossing the road and headbutting the window at Quayside Leather until it smashed.

Quayside LeatherQuayside Leather (Image: Cristiano Magaglio)

Previously, Pragnell had no legal representation but now Selina Goddard spoke for him in mitigation.

Ms Goddard mitigating, said: "There is nothing but a sense of deep shame and remorse.

"He had done what he could to take responsibility by pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

"He drank a significant amount, 15 pints and spirits."

Ms Goddard told the court that Pragnell is of mixed race himself, and had to explain his behaviour to his family.

Pragnell, who works as a chef, says he has not drunk since the incident. This is his first arrest and first court appearance. 

"He recognises there is some work that can be done so he doesn't find himself in the same situation," added Ms Goddard.

"It is a matter he wants to put behind him. It is his intention that this is his first and last court appearance."

District Judge Orla Austin said: "I am pleased to see you are here today and are taking this matter seriously."

He must pay £300 in compensation to Avril Bailey and £150 to Peter Chamberlin for the window. 

Pragnell was also given a 12-month community order to complete 120 hours of unpaid work. Must also complete 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Additionally, he must pay £85 in court costs.

Speaking after the sentencing, Avril Bailey says she is pleased with the result and that the court took the case seriously. She said: "It is good they are taking it seriously and punishing him. Hopefully, he realises that he can't say things like this, that people aren't going to take it from him and there are consequences."

Ms Bailey says that Pragnell will still be banned for life from Fleetline Taxis, which is standard for those who make such comments to staff.