Uber passenger who attacked driver after breaking wind avoids jail

Drunk Uber passenger who attacked driver after he tried to kick him out of his cab for breaking wind on back seat avoids jail

  • James Mallett, 35, broke wind in the back of an Uber taxi in Kingswood, Bristol
  • Driver Aleksander Bonchev was infuriated and ordered Mallett to leave his car
  • Court heard that Mallett then attacked Mr Bonchev in a drunken assault 

A man who drunkenly attacked his Uber driver after he tried to kick him out of his taxi for breaking wind has been handed a suspended jail term. 

James Mallett, 35, was on his way to Chasers nightclub in Kingswood, Bristol when he farted in the back of a taxi, infuriating cabby Aleksander Bonchev.

The driver was said to have suffered abuse from other fares and decided that the flatulence was the final straw on November 30 of last year, ordering his passenger out of the vehicle.

A court heard that Mallett then rained down blows on Mr Bonchev, who also managed to knock down his attacker in self-defence.

The driver has since returned to his native Bulgaria as he was unable to work following the incident, it was said.

James Mallett, 35, was on his way to Chasers nightclub in Kingswood, Bristol when he farted in the back of an Uber taxi, infuriating cabby Aleksander Bonchev 

Mallett, of Kingswood, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual harm and was handed six months in jail, suspended for two years at Bristol Crown Court yesterday.

He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation and do 120 hours’ unpaid work by the recorder Miss Alexia Power.

The court heard the driver was unable to work after sustaining a broken finger and lost his car, accommodation and job with Uber.

David Scutt, prosecuting, told the court had Mr Bonchev received a message to collect Mallett and three other people and take them to Chasers.

Mr Scutt said: ‘As he was driving the defendant broke wind. Mr Bonchev found that offensive. He asked them to leave the vehicle.’

Mallett, who was ‘plainly intoxicated’, then offered the driver a fight before punching him in the face. However, the driver fought back and hit Mallett, knocking him to the ground. 

Mallett, of Kingswood, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual harm and was handed six months in jail, suspended for two years at Bristol Crown Court yesterday 

Mr Scutt added: ‘A young lady with Mr Mallett persuaded him to leave. They walked off towards Forest Road and police located him. 

‘He was spoken to, he was injured and had a cut to his bottom lip. He was plainly intoxicated.’

Mr Scutt told the court Mallett was abusive to cops and said the driver had assaulted him.

Mr Bonchev was then forced to give up work and could not pay for rent so ended up homeless. He has now returned to live in Bulgaria.

Anthony Bignall, defending Mallett, said: ‘He behaved in an unattractive manner that night.’ 

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