Drinker ‘out of his senses’

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A DRUNKEN man smashed a taxi window to climb out when he couldn’t afford the fare.

Damien Eichner was so drunk at the time he had no recollection of what happened, Preston Crown Court was told.

He was traced, partly because he had left his mobile phone behind in the vehicle.

At the time he was on a suspended sentence for assaulting a man in the street on Christmas Day two years ago.

The 21-year-old, of Dickson Road, Blackpool, has now been given supervision, an order to do unpaid work and a three-month long curfew to keep him at home from 8pm to 6am every night.

Eichner appeared at the court for sentencing, having earlier pleaded guilty to criminal damage and making off without payment, both of which occurred on May 17.

Zoe Salter, prosecuting, said the defendant had got a taxi from Queen Street, asking to be taken to Bela Grove in Blackpool.

During the journey the driver became aware Eichner did not have the money to pay the fare and contacted the police to help sort out the issue. It was while waiting for the police Eichner smashed the rear passenger taxi window and climbed out, making off without paying and causing £72 of damage. Another taxi driver saw Eichner using force to smash the window and climb through.

The defendant had left his mobile phone in the damaged taxi, which was handed to police, and he was picked out at an identity parade.

The offences put him in breach of a 12 month jail term, suspended for two years, for affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. The court heard that a man had been attacked while out walking with his children and others two years ago.

Chris Hudson, defending, said Eichner was frightened at the possibility of being sent to jail. He added that the defendant had stayed out of trouble since the latest offences, had stopped drinking and taking cannabis and had complied with the community based requirements of the suspended sentence.

The defence said: “It was drinking and pubs which has resulted in his offending. He is someone who can drink spectacularly to excess.

“He was out drinking with two friends this night. He was out of his senses with drink and has no recollection of the offences.

“He probably is at a crossroads in his life.”

Judge Pamela Badley also gave Eichner 20 hours’ unpaid work with six months supervision and the curfew, plus an order to pay £124 for the damage, loss of earnings and the fare as well as £150 prosecution costs.

She told him: “This type of behaviour is not something which any civilised society can cope with.”

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