A TAXI firm boss kicked a motorist in the head and punched him repeatedly during a 'road-rage' attack, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates court heard how Ammer Naveed, 35, who owns Street Cars in Nelson, left victim Scott Wilkinson with four loose teeth and unable to sleep at night.

Naveed, who employs 14 people, has now lost his private hire licence and could face losing his operator's licence.

Mr Wilkinson, 49, whose son had been with him and had tried to stop the battering, also suffered a cut ear, gashed lip and swelling during the unprovoked assault.

Father-of-five Naveed, of Farrer Street, Nelson, had been convicted of assault after a trial.

The defendant had denied the allegation.

He was given 26 weeks in jail, suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work and must pay £400 compensation and £100 costs.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Mr Wilkinson, a painter and decorator, had been travelling up Barkerhouse Road, Nelson, towards a mini roundabout, when Naveed’s taxi came out of Netherfield Road, causing him to slam on his brakes to avoid a crash.

The defendant stopped, got out, threw the bottle and opened Mr Wilkinson's door as the victim tried to close it.

He kicked him, using the flat of his shoe, connecting with the side of his head and dragging his foot down the victim's ear, causing it to bleed.

The defendant then punched Mr Wilkinson a number of times with such force his head was knocked back.

The victim’s son then tried to stop Naveed who later fled in his cab before police were called.

Miss Akhtar said after the assault, the victim had been to his doctor and had been given sleeping tablets, was nervous about going out on his own and had been feeling down.

He had not worked for two weeks, as the painkillers he had been prescribed had made him drowsy, and he had not wanted to face customers with his injuries.

Naveed had no previous convictions.

The prosecutor added the assault was being reported to the county council.

Kamran Yousaf, for Naveed, said he had been a taxi driver since he was 17, had built up his business and had 14 employees.

The incident last October 18 was isolated and the defendant felt enormous regret.

Naveed would say Mr Wilkinson made a gesture and he accepted he made a mistake in stopping his vehicle and retaliating.

Mr Yousaf continued :" He just saw red. He didn't realise what he was doing. He can't understand what went through his mind for him to go and do what he did. He accepts his actions were out of order."

The solicitor added Naveed was held in high esteem in the community.

Mr Yousaf said: "He has lost his private hire licence and he runs the risk of losing his operator's licence."