Taxi driver spared jail after blinding man in right eye with punch to face in Northampton town centre
A taxi driver who blinded a drunken man in his right eye by punching him in Northampton town centre has been spared jail.
Shahab Uddin, of St James Park Road, confronted his victim after the man slapped and kicked a series of taxis waiting in Mercer's Row.
But Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (July 15) how the 50-year-old had "no justification" for the volley of punches he then meted out on the drunken man - which broke his right eye socket and caused permanent blindness.
His Honour Judge Michael Fowler told Uddin: "[The victim] was not responsible for his terrible injuries. You are responsible.
"[The victim's drunken behaviour] was no justification for the violence you used."
In August 2017, the victim was out late in Northampton town centre when he chose to walk along Mercer's Row, slapping and kicking taxis as we went.
One of the taxis he hit was Uddin's.
The cabbie later told police the victim pushed him when an argument broke out. But Uddin reacted to the situation by punching the drunken man "four or five" times in the head.
He then drove away from the scene in his taxi, but also called police as he left to say a man had been injured in town.
In a statement read out in court by prosecutor Victoria Rose, the victim claimed he had "no memory" of the confrontation or his behaviour, and only remembered "waking up in hospital".
Miss Rose said: "When it became apparent that he [the victim] would be permanently blind in his right eye he 'cried for hours' and 'couldn't believe what had happened to him'.
"He says he is unable to pursue the hobbies he once enjoyed. He has not gone out socially since and is extremely nervous about leaving his house. It has clearly had a great impact on his life."
Uddin's defence barrister Miss Priya Bakshi told the court the 50-year-old was "truly sorry" and remorseful for what had happened.
"You should be remorseful," Judge Fowler told Uddin in sentencing. "You should never forget how you have harmed another human being who will live with his injuries for the rest of his life."
Judge Fowler handed Uddin a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He will also serve 180 hours of unpaid work.
It is also understood Uddin is no longer a taxi driver.