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Belfast taxi driver still suffering effects from vicious attack by kickboxer thug


David Shaw

A taxi driver is still suffering the effects of a vicious unprovoked attack by an amateur kickboxer nearly two years later.

David Shaw's jaw had to be surgically repaired when he was punched by ex-fighter Bailie McClinton.

The 58-year-old told Sunday Life he also sustained nerve damage and injuries to his hip following the cowardly unprovoked assault.

"I'm not the same person I was. I've got a son and I used to be able to run about with him or kick a football and I can't do that now," said David.

"My back is in total agony and I'm like a 90-year-old man getting up out of bed in the morning."

On February 27, McClinton (21) was given an 18-month probation order after pleading guilty to causing grievous bodily harm and unlawfully attempting to take a motor vehicle at Belfast Magistrates Court.

His victim believes McClinton should have been jailed.

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David Shaw after the vicious attack.

David Shaw after the vicious attack.

David Shaw after the vicious attack.

David was having a smoke beside his taxi parked outside McDonald's in Belfast city centre at around 3.30am on May 7, 2018.

He recalled how he suffered a blow from behind and fell to the ground after being hit by McClinton, then aged 19.

"At that time you are able to pull up at the side of McDonald's and hopefully get a wee taxi fare," explained David.

"I stood outside the car and had a smoke but just as I was finishing it there was a big whack to the side of my face.

"He got into the car and I got back up off my feet again and I went to get him out of my car but he was already out the car at that point and then he ran off."

David then went to Musgrave police station to make a statement where he was told by officers to go to the Ulster Hospital.

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Bailie McClinton

Bailie McClinton

Bailie McClinton

"I went up and was kept in and operated on, even the surgeon said it was one of the worst breaks he had ever seen," said David.

"I've now got two plates in my face and I was in hospital for three days and I've still got nerve damage and can't really feel the side of my face.

"I used to be quite fit but when I fell to the ground I severely damaged my hip and I still have pain in my back."

David was off the road for two weeks and unable to earn money and even changed his car afterwards for safety reasons but still can't shake off the anxiety brought on by the incident.

"I feel he should have been sent away and the £2,000 - that doesn't pay me from what I have lost over it," said David.

David was also annoyed that McClinton didn't apologise at an early stage rather than when he was sentenced, at which point his solicitor told the court of his remorse.

"He had every opportunity to say sorry, he was sitting beside me (in court) and could have said, 'I'm really sorry about what I did,' and that would have been okay," said David.

"Why didn't he come over and shake my hand?"

David started working as a taxi driver in 1989 but in all his years on the road he has never been attacked.

"I've seen an awful lot of incidents in my time taxiing but I have never, ever been assaulted," said David.

McClinton, nicknamed 'clubber' from his amateur kickboxing days, "acted completely and utterly out of character", according to his solicitor.

The lawyer told his sentencing hearing: "He has been scolded by both his mother and father and no longer goes out drinking."

District Judge White said: "It was an outrageous act and assault on someone just doing their job.

"This clearly crosses the custody threshold, but the law makes it clear that custody is a last resort.

"When someone has no record, custody disrupts two families rather than one and the outcomes tend to be more negative for everyone involved."

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