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Home Gravesend News Article
Paul Ludlow, 63, was assaulted on January 1, making him the latest employee of Gravesend Station Taxis to be attacked in just nine weeks.
The offender, John David Walls, 51, appeared in court last week where he pleaded guilty to assault by beating.
Dartford magistrates heard that Mr Ludlow had picked up the recovering alcoholic and his girlfriend as they returned from welcoming in the New Year.
Prosecutor Matthew Quantrill said: “Mr Walls was shouting and saying he was unwilling to pay for the fare.
“His partner reassured Mr Ludlow there wouldn’t be any trouble.”
But as Mr Ludlow began to drive, Walls became “aggressive” and Mr Ludlow asked them to leave the vehicle.
After walking away, Walls returned and became verbally abusive, screaming “I’m going to bite your face”.
The pair grappled before Mr Ludlow fell to the floor and sustained a cut to his face.
Walls, of Botley Road, Oxford, is due to be sentenced on February 27.
As well as suffering minor injuries, the 63-year-old has been left with emotional scars and it took him almost four weeks to return to work.
Speaking after the hearing, he said: “I didn’t want to come back to work afterwards. The incident was quite scary and I couldn’t stop shaking. I was worried he would come back.
“I’m 63 years old and this is the first time something like this has happened in my 20 years in the job.
“It’s getting more dangerous. When I first started you never thought anything would happen. It seems to be getting worse and I don’t know why.
“We have CCTV now which is a good thing, but it is still becoming more dangerous.”
Despite this, Mr Ludlow still wants to continue with his job.
“I still want to do it because I like the people that I pick up,” he said.
“I’m just wary now of picking up blokes, especially if they have had a few drinks.”
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