A Taxi driver has been assaulted in Tweed earlier this year when he asked a Banora Point man to pay his fare. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Tweed Daily New
A Taxi driver has been assaulted in Tweed earlier this year when he asked a Banora Point man to pay his fare. Photo: Blainey Woodham / Tweed Daily New

Man punched North Coast taxi driver over fare

A DISABILITY pensioner punched a taxi driver when asked to pay his fare, a North Coast court heard.

Paul Anthony Johnson, 61, appeared in Tweed Heads Local Court on November 16 facing a charge of common assault.

The Banora Point man had been drinking before ordering a taxi and when asked for payment on arrival at his location, Johnson punched the taxi driver in the nose earlier this year.

Defence solicitor Carl Edwards said his client could not remember why or what happened.

He said Johnson has difficulty getting around as he is in need of a double-hip replacement because of a car accident some years earlier and had been drinking alcohol on the night of the offence as a form of self-medicated pain relief.

Mr Edwards said Johnson, who is on a disability pension, suffers from PTSD and has now given up drinking entirely.

Magistrate Michael Dakin convicted and sentenced Johnson to an 18 month community corrections order with a condition to abstain from drinking.