Keane cleared of cabbie 'road rage'
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has been cleared of aggressively confronting a taxi driver in a road rage row.
District Judge Duncan Birrell found him not guilty of a public order charge after dismissing as a "storm in a teacup" allegations levelled against the Old Trafford legend by cabbie Fateh Kerar.
Mr Kerer, 44, claimed Mr Keane, now the assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland team, had stared at him aggressively and then followed him in his black 4x4 before confronting him.
But District Judge Birrell told Manchester Magistrates' Court there was something of the "thwarted fan" about Mr Kerar, who saw the footballer when he pulled over at a bank in Hale village to let a passenger get some cash.
Football fan Mr Kerar told the court 'I love Roy Keane', but claimed the Old Trafford legend gave him "bad looks" when he saw him on the morning of January 30.
He said Mr Keane, 43, followed him in his car before "jumping" out and swearing at him.
His account was backed by his fare, Hothan Isman, who said Mr Keane had been " shouting and moving his hands around and being aggressive", leaving her feeling "s hocked, upset".
But District Judge Birrell suggested Mr Kerar made the allegations because Mr Keane "hadn't lived up to his expectations" and said his evidence was "riddled with inconsistencies and improbabilities".
Earlier Mr Keane, who appeared in the dock wearing a black suit, white shirt and blue tie, told the court he noticed Mr Kerar across the road in his taxi and nodded to acknowledge him but that as they both moved off the cabbie made a gesture.
Keane, pushing the corners of his mouth up with his fingers, told the court: "He gave me a smirking gesture."
The former Ipswich and Sunderland manager, who is known in the football world for his short fuse, denied reacting and flicking a V sign at Mr Kerar but said: "I noticed in our mirror that the driver gave me two fingers."
When their cars stopped at a junction, Mr Keane said: " I opened the door and literally asked him what's his problem. I said it two or three times. He said something like, 'You need to cheer up'.
"I just turned and got back in my car. As I got back in my car with my back to him I said, 'Oh f*** off.'"
Representing Mr Keane, Stuart Denney QC asked him: " Anything in particular to be aggressive with at the world that morning?"
Mr Keane, with a short laugh, replied: "No. Not that morning."
Dismissing the case, District Judge Birrell told Keane: "I have listened with great care to the evidence in your case. The burden of proof is on the prosecution. It's my view, taking, as I have said, a careful account of the evidence, that they have failed to discharge their burden; therefore I find you not guilty."