An Aberdeen man who assaulted a disabled taxi driver in a row over a fare said he is “ashamed” of what happened.
Matthew Cruickshank, 29, was ordered to carry out 270 hours of unpaid work and be supervised for 12 months after previously admitting repeatedly punching the man to the head and body to his injury.
Cruickshank’s solicitor insisted the taxi driver “abducted” them and the assault only happened because they feared for their safety.
Speaking after the sentencing, Cruickshank insisted he wasn’t a “horrible guy” and said he was “ashamed”.
The self-employed taxi driver, who was left with cuts and bruises including a black eye, said he was off work for three weeks following the assault, losing out on around £1,500 in earnings, also hit out outside court.
He said: “He should have got jail.
“I was driving the car and trying to dodge punches at the same time.”
During the hearing, the court was told Cruickshank and his father got into the taxi on August 19 on the city’s Chapel Street and asked to be taken to Stonehaven.
Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell said: “Due to the trip being likely to be costly the complainer asked for part payment up front.
“The accused challenged the request and became aggressive at that point.”
The dispute continued and Cruickshank repeatedly struck the man to the head and face.
Ms Mitchell added: “Fearing for his safety the complainer continued to drive and summoned help from members of the public.”
At Regent Quay the driver tried to get out.
She added: “When he attempted to get out his prosthetic leg got stuck under the brake pedal.”
Cruickshank got out of the vehicle and continued to strike him, during which his T-shirt was “partially torn from his body” and his glasses were broken.
He also pleaded guilty to resisting or obstructing police and kicking an officer on the leg.
Alex Burn, Cruickshank’s solicitor, said the driver had locked the doors and prevented them from getting out.
He said: “He abducted him. They were concerned for their safety. They went to get out and then they got involved in a physical altercation.”
Mr Burn said his client had not known the man had a prosthetic leg and had shown remorse.
Sheriff Sukhwinder Gill told Cruickshank, whose address was given as Baillieswells Road, Bieldside: “This was a violent and sustained attack on a 64-year-old man.
“This must have been a very frightening experience for him.”