Mother avoids jail for race hate abuse of cabbie
A mother-of-nine who pleaded guilty to racially abusing an Indian-born taxi driver outside her home in Londonderry has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
Jacqueline Robinson (47) appeared at Derry Magistrates Court yesterday where District Judge Barney McElholm said her actions were one of the worst cases of racial abuse he had ever heard.
The judge granted a restraining order against Robinson, of Lecky Road in the city, banning her from coming within 25 metres of her victim for the next five years.
She was handed a six-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, and was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to her victim.
Robinson appeared in court on charges of making off without paying a £3.50 taxi fare, assaulting a taxi driver and disorderly behaviour. Mr McElholm said the nature of Robinson’s abuse against the driver was so graphic he had decided not to relay it in court.
“The nature of this racial abuse is so vile, disgusting and deplorable that I will not read it out in court, but if the Press wish to see a copy of it and report its contents they can,” he said.
The race hate tirade was recorded by the taxi firm's dispatcher, and lasted for two minutes and fifty seconds.
During her verbal barrage, Robinson referred to the taxi driver's colour, saying “you weren't born or raised in the Brandywell”.
She called the taxi driver “a f****** black ugly looking b*******”.
She also made sexual comments to the victim and said: “You look as if someone's hit you over the head with a bag of coal.”
Defence barrister Eoghan Devlin described Robinson's behaviour as “barbaric and repugnant and as bad as it gets”.
“It was as serious an offence of its type that there could be and there is little I can say in terms of mitigation,” he told the court.
“It was the classic incident of a blameless victim.”
He added that Robinson had “systematically destroyed her life, health and relationships” because of a serious problem with alcohol abuse.
“She has been the victim herself of extreme acts of violence at the hands of various men,” he explained.
“She has been brought down by her own drinking addiction.”
He said that Robinson still didn't appreciate the consequences of her actions.
Sentencing Robinson, Mr McElholm said that if she offended over the next five years she would go to jail for the maximum period.