An Aberdeen engineering firm director battered a taxi driver and smashed up his vehicle with a fire extinguisher after a dispute at the end of a Deacon Blue gig.
Steven Beattie and his partner booked a taxi to take them home from the P&J Live concert but upset the driver firstly by being late and then insisting on a lengthy stop for food at McDonald’s.
After waiting for them for more than 20 minutes outside McDonald’s on Inverurie Road, the driver’s patience ran out and he demanded they pay up.
But Beattie, 50, flew into a violent rage, flooring the terrified driver with a dozen punches.
But the company boss wasn’t finished and, after arming himself with a fire extinguisher, he returned to the car and smashed the taxi’s windscreen.
Fiscal depute Peter Finnon told Aberdeen Sheriff Court the taxi driver texted Beattie at 10.45pm on October 13 last year to say he was outside the venue to pick them up.
The couple did not emerge until 11.15pm, at which point they asked the cabbie to stop at McDonald’s on the way home to Inverurie.
Despite needing to get home himself, the taxi driver “reluctantly agreed” and Beattie remained in the car while his partner went in for food.
But when she still hadn’t returned after 15-20 minutes, Beattie also went inside to look for her.
Mr Finnon told the court: “Shortly after, Mr Beattie’s partner exited with her order and attended back at the car.
“Mr Beattie remained inside the restaurant sitting at a table.”
Driver punched 12 times to the head
The woman tried to phone Beattie to tell him to come back outside but he did not answer and attempts to get his attention through the window also failed.
By this point, the driver “became exasperated” as he needed to get home and asked Beattie’s partner for payment.
A “disagreement” between the pair followed and the driver “attempted to move her away from the vehicle”.
He then saw Beattie running towards him shouting “come on then, come on then!”
Beattie punched the driver 12 times to the head, causing him to fall to the ground where he used his hands to try to protect his face.
When the attack eventually subsided, Beattie returned into McDonald’s while the driver got back in the taxi and called the police.
Mr Finnon said: “While on the phone to the police, he saw Mr Beattie leave McDonald’s, this time with the fire extinguisher.
“The accused approached the vehicle shouting ‘come on, you f****** b******, I’ll have you now’.”
Beattie tried to enter the taxi but, finding the doors locked, swung the fire extinguisher towards the windscreen and bonnet of the vehicle.
He struck it repeatedly until the windscreen smashed, while the petrified driver cowered in the driver’s seat.
The couple then went back inside McDonald’s and Beattie was arrested a short time later.
His victim was left with pain and swelling to his head and minor pain to his elbow.
Beattie ‘took leave of his senses’
Beattie, of Wilson Place, Kemnay, pled guilty to charges of assault to injury and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.
Defence agent Gregor Kelly said Beattie, a first offender, had already paid the taxi driver just over £4,600 to cover the damage and loss of earnings.
He added Beattie, a director of SB Starwood Engineering Services Ltd, was “mortified to find himself in court for such a serious matter”.
The solicitor explained Beattie’s partner had a “longstanding arrangement” with the taxi firm, but that the driver on this occasion was not known to them.
He said there were “grievances” about the location and time of the pick-up, and that Beattie, although he had been drinking, described his mood as “mellow”.
Mr Kelly told the court that when Beattie’s partner returned to the car, the driver “in no uncertain terms, says ‘pay up, you’re on your own'”.
There were then remonstrations and Mr Kelly said Beattie perceived the taxi driver as being “aggressive” towards his partner and “manhandling” her.
A “scuffle” then took place between the men, with Beattie also suffering a cut to his face, before he “took leave of his senses” and began wielding the fire extinguisher.
He added Beattie was “embarrassed about the whole thing” and “wishes to extend his apologies”.
Sheriff Shirley McKenna branded Beattie’s antics “appalling” and ordered him to pay a fine of £740.
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