AN Accrington bank manager assaulted a taxi driver during a row over a ride home after his work’s Christmas party.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jason Shorrock, who was sitting behind the driver, grabbed his scarf and tightened it around his neck as he was driving.

The TSB branch manager had earlier told the driver he would ‘break his nose’ and ‘break his car’.

Shorrock, 43, of Dill Hall Lane, Church, pleaded guilty to assaulting Talib Hussain. He was fined £155 with £105 costs and ordered to pay £50 compensation to his victim. Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Mr Hussain had arrived at the Sparth House Hotel in Clayton-le-Moors to pick up a fare in the name of Joanne who was going to Rawtenstall.

Shorrock and his wife, Joanne, got into the back of the taxi and were told the fare would be £15.

There was a dispute which the driver didn’t fully understand and Shorrock began kicking his seat and making threats. The driver headed to Accrington town centre looking for a police officer but said Shorrock took hold of his scarf and was trying to strangle him with it.

“I was losing control of my car and I was scared,” said Mr Hussain.

He stopped the car in Union Street and managed to wriggle free from his scarf. At that point the female in the taxi was shouting, ‘leave him’.

Imran Hussain, defending, said the entire incident had arisen out of a ‘terrible misunderstanding’.

“He and his wife had been to a work’s Christmas party and were returning to their home in Church which was one and a half miles away.”

Mr Hussain said the behaviour was totally out of character for Shorrock who had no previous convictions and was ashamed to be appearing in court. He said his client was a married man with three children who had started working for the bank as a cashier in 1991.

“For the past four years he has been employed as a bank manager,” said Mr Hussain.