A WREXHAM woman has been spared jail after her foul-mouthed, homophobic attack on a taxi driver.

Vanessa Roberts, of Pentre Gwyn, appeared at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

The 43-year-old had previously admitted obstructing and assaulting an emergency worker, and had also been found guilty of an additional assault after trial.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson told the court that at around 6.25pm on May 17, taxi driver Mohammad Rahman picked up a fare in Wrexham city centre and was due to drop off at Monger Road.

On arrival at the pickup, three females made themselves known to him and got into the taxi - with two in the back and one, Roberts, in the front passenger seat.

Roberts was "extremely intoxicated" and was speaking to the two females in the back.

But while she was doing that, she was spitting on Mr Rahman's face.

He asked her to face forward while speaking in order to prevent it - but Roberts took exception to the request, telling him "I'm not spitting, "b******," before carrying on swearing and shouting at him.

When the taxi turned onto Holt Road, Roberts looked at him and purposefully spat in his face twice.

She unloaded a torrent of foul abuse, part of which was homophobic in nature.

The victim called 999, following which Roberts punched him in the back and grabbed onto his shirt.

He could be heard on the call asking her to stop and to leave him alone.

Roberts also refused to pay the £5.50 fare, telling the victim to "f*** off."

When the police arrived and tried to calm her down, she said she'd "rather go to jail" than pay the victim, and when her behaviour didn't improve, she was arrested.

Roberts refused to walk to the police car, telling her arresting officer: "Drag me, you stupid little b****."

Her attitude hadn't improved by the time she arrived in custody either - with officers having to put a spit guard on her.

Roberts responded by kicking out, catching an officer in the shin.

She had to be taken to the floor until she calmed down.

While she admitted her behaviour towards the police, Roberts denied assaulting Mr Rahman.

The Magistrates at her trial found her guilty, however.

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Euros Jones, defending, told the court: "Despite the initial denial [regarding the assault against Mr Rahman], she fully accepts she is to be sentenced for that.

"When the police arrived, all three females were on the other side of the road waiting to make a counter complaint against him.

"But she was annoyed they took the side of the taxi driver.

"This was a day when they had been to a family funeral - the first time they'd been out in a number of months."

District Judge Gwyn Jones told the defendant: "It is clear to me that alcohol was very much the root cause of your offending.

"You'd had far too much to drink and became offensive to Mr Rahman, who is providing a valuable service to the community.


"You continued with your aggression and made very offensive, homophobic comments towards him.

"And then you continued with your offensive comments towards the officers."

Overall, the Judge handed down a 26 week term of imprisonment, but suspended it for a year.

Roberts was made the subject of a 15 week electronically monitored curfew.

She must pay £200 compensation towards the officer she assaulted and £400 compensation to Mr Rahman, as well as the £5.50 fare she refused to hand over.

The District Judge also ordered her to pay prosecution costs of £620.