Belfast Telegraph

Cabbie tells of actress race abuse

A taxi driver said he has been left "distraught" after Misfits star Lauren Socha racially abused him and punched him when he picked her up in his cab.

Socha, 21, who won a Bafta last year for her role as Kelly Bailey in the Channel 4 series, assaulted Sakander Iqbal in Derby city centre after a nine-hour pub drinking session in the early hours of October 1.

Married Mr Iqbal, 52, was in the city's Crown Court today (Wednesday) where Socha pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault by beating, and said he had never experienced such abuse in his 22 years as a taxi driver.

"She said: 'Do you know who I am? I'll have your family lifted'," he said.

"I've been doing this job for 20 years and I've never been put in that kind of situation before, so it was really upsetting."

He played reporters the recording he made on his mobile phone of her eight-minute rant, littered with swear words and racist remarks.

Socha, who appeared in court wearing no make-up, with her dark hair piled into a bun on top of her head, and in a black dress and cream fur jacket, originally denied the assault but changed her plea to guilty today.

She sat in the dock and wiped away tears as details of her case were discussed.

Judge Hilary Watson sentenced her to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and told her: "Your conduct on that night was despicable and Mr Iqbal rightly brought it to the attention of the police and then the courts." She added: "When heavily in drink and pumped up you chose to express yourself in that despicable way."

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