A BOXING Day dispute over a taxi led to a man attacking a passenger as he sat in the vehicle with his wife, a court was told.

Burnley magistrates heard how Dwayne Taylor had been in the back of the cab when Lucas Schofield, who had thought it was his taxi, got in, knelt on the front seat, punched him and ran off.

The victim was left with reddening and pain to his face.

Schofield was told he was under arrest by police, tried to run off and had to be tackled to the ground. When he was later interviewed, he said he had had drink and cocaine.

Schofield, of Hart Street, Burnley, admitted assault by beating and resisting police, last December 26. He was given a four-week curfew and must pay £50 compensation.

Andrew Robinson, prosecuting,said Schofield was inside the taxi office on Church Street, Padiham, and thought the cab was his.

Sara Lyle, for Schofield, said he had been waiting patiently in the office for a taxi, when the cab pulled up and Mr Taylor and his wife just got in. Mr Taylor accepted he shouldn’t have got in the taxi if it was somebody else’s. “The defendant was desperately sorry for what happened. When police arrived he said he was really sorry.” Miss Lyle added.

Schofield was made redundant before Christmas and had made a benefits claim.