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Taxi driver died after struggle with passenger, court told

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Taxi driver died after struggle with passenger, court told

Post by Admin on Mon 11 Aug 2008 - 17:48

A TAXI driver died of a heartattack during a struggle with a passenger who refused to pay his fair, a court heard.

Cabbie Raymond Quigley had driven Dale Patterson from Newcastle city centre to Sunderland in the early hours of September 3 but trouble broke out when the teenager tried to leave the car without paying.

"It is considered more likely than not Mr Quigley would not have died at the time he did were it not for the traumatic event that occured."
Toby Hedworth QC, prosecuting

Newcastle Crown Court heard Mr Quigley, 72, tried to keep Patterson at the scene so the police could be called, but collapsed with a heartattack during the violent struggle which resulted.

The court heard as Mr Quigley lay unconscious on the ground Patterson kicked him in the head and said "I hope he dies".

Mr Quigley, who had been a taxi driver for 40 years, was pronounced dead on arrival at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Patterson, of Manila Street, Sunderland, denies making off without payment and manslaughter.

Prosecutor Toby Hedworth QC told the court how Patterson had been at a skateboarding event in Newcastle on September 1 last year and went for a taxi in the early hours of the next morning when he realised he had missed the last train home to Sunderland.

By the time the cab was seen by witnesses at Waterworks Road, Ryhope, Sunderland, both men were out of the car and struggling against railings.

One woman who saw the confrontation from her window said she saw the older man holding the teenager in a headlock over the railings.

She asked what was going on and was asked by Mr Quigley to phone the police.

Meanwhile, Patterson was shouting "he's trying to rape me" and struggling to get away.

An on-call plumber passed the scene and Patterson repeated the claim, but he was told by Mr Quigley the youth owed him money and "I'm just a taxi driver mate".

Another taxi driver then arrived at the scene and left his cab to see anyone needed help.

By this time the teenager was still struggling and wriggling and Mr Quigley collapsed to the ground.

As he lay unconscious Patterson kicked him in side of the head and said "He ******* deserved it, he tried to rape me, he hope he dies."

Patterson repeated the rape fear claims in police interview, but prosecutors reject his claims.

Mr Hedworth told jurors: "He had to deal with his passenger trying to get out of the car and make off without paying for the trip.

"The driver was able to restrain the passenger so the police could be called.

"But the passenger was having none of it and repeatedly struggled to break free.

"So anxious indeed was the passenger to break free, and thus get away without paying for his trip, that the driver was left with multiple bruises and abrasions to his face, torso and arms.

"The driver was 72-year-old Raymond Quigley, the passenger was this defendant, then 17.

"Patterson continued to try and get away for upward of ten minutes.

"All Mr Quigley was trying to do was get him to stay where he was.

"But unfortunately, this defendant struggled so violently Mr Quigley suffered a heart attack.

"It is not suggested that the defendant intended to kill Mr Quigley or even to do him really serious harm, if that was our case he would be facing a charge of murder.

"It is submitted on behalf of the crown the violence he used towards Mr Quigley was unlawful and directly caused Mr Quigley's death."

A post mortem examination revealed Mr Quigley had, as well as the fresh cuts, bruises and a bite mark to his hand, heart disease.

Mr Hedworth told the court: "It is considered more likely than not Mr Quigley would not have died at the time he did were it not for the traumatic event that occured.

"Put more simply, this man had a heart condition but were it not for what happened against that railing Mr Quigley would not have died between 3.45 and 4am that morning."

Patterson, now 18, told police he had just 10 when he got into the cab that morning but had arranged to pay the rest if Mr Quigley stopped his cab at a cashpoint.

He claimed an argument broke out when Mr Quigley asked him to leave some belongings as collateral in the car during the stop and he refused.

Patterson told police he had not recognised the route taken by Mr Quigley and had feared he was about to be raped.

He denies all charges. The trial continues.

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