Taxi driver beaten up in case of mistaken identity

Norwich Magistrates Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Martin Bamford appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court and admitted three assault offences in Cromer dating back to October 3 last year. - Credit: Archant

A man beat up a taxi driver who he wrongly thought was a criminal, a court heard.

Martin Bamford, 35, was picked up from a pub in Sheringham by the taxi and taken to Cabbell Road in Cromer.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard on the journey Bamford, who was with another man, started to make accusations against the driver.

Robyn Khan, prosecuting, said the driver was “repeatedly struck to the head for 20 to 30 seconds”.

Bamford, who was drunk, was told to stop by his friend and they both walked away after the driver parked.

The driver got out and took pictures of Bamford and his friend but they turned back towards him.

Ms Khan said the driver got in the taxi and tried to lock the doors but Bamford leaned into the taxi and continued to attack the driver who “put his arms up to protect himself”.

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An off-duty police officer saw what was happening and went to pull Bamford away to the other side of the road but was himself struck on the head.

Ms Khan said another member of the public who saw what was happening and tried to restrain Bamford was also assaulted.

She said Bamford, who had been “thrashing” about, swung his head back, striking the victim in the head and chipping his tooth.

Bamford, of Alfred Road, Cromer, appeared in court on Wednesday (April 14) when he admitted assault by beating on October 3 last year. 

He also admitted assault by beating of an emergency worker and assault of a person thereby occasioning them actual bodily harm on the same date.

James Landells, mitigating, said Bamford was drunk and had confused the taxi driver with someone who had committed a crime in the past.

Mr Landells said he had entered guilty pleas, which was to his credit.

Sentencing was adjourned until May 6 so a pre-sentence report can be carried out, but Bamford was warned “all options” were open.

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