Taxi driver punched ‘four to five times’ by Rocky passenger

A ROCKHAMPTON man who assaulted a taxi driver on the way to a local footy club was fined $1500 and ordered to pay $500 compensation by a magistrate.

Troy Brett Owens pleaded guilty to common assault after he hit a taxi driver in the face four to five times at 9.45pm on October 3.

Police prosecutor Acting Sergeant Shaun Janes told the court the taxi driver picked up Owens and another male person from a Rockhampton address when Owens got into the back seat.

Owens told the driver he only had $10 to pay for the journey and agreed to be taken as far as possible.

The court heard Owens lay down in the back seat of the taxi and went to sleep but the driver asked him not to because he was afraid he would vomit or pass out.

Owens became agitated and struck the driver. Defence lawyer Shayne Studdert told the court the 39-year-old was drunk at the time.

"He wasn't in the right frame of mind," he said.

Magistrate Press told Owens to seek help for his alcohol problem.

"It's disappointing to see you before the court and I expect you are here because of alcohol," he said.

Owens was sentenced to 12 months' probation.



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