Row over unpaid fare leads man into axe chase

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A YOUNG Rugby man tried to set his dogs on his fellow taxi passengers and chased them with an axe - after being challenged about a fare.

As the confrontation continued, Richard Slack punched one of his fellow passengers, knocking him to the ground and causing a wound to the back of his head.

Slack, 19, of Skiddaw, Brownsover, pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court last week to charges of assault and possessing a bladed article in public.

He was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years, with 18 months supervision, and was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and made subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for three months.

The court heard that three friends went out for the night in Rugby town centre in June.

As they then queued for a taxi by the clock tower at 4am they struck up a conversation with Slack, who they did not know.

When they found he also lived in Brownsover they invited him to share a taxi with them on the basis that he would pay his share of the fare, and he agreed.

But when the driver pulled up in Seathwaite, Slack got out and simply shrugged his shoulders and walked off when he was asked for £6 towards the fare.

The others left to ask him again for the money, following him to Skiddaw.

“He reached in and pulled out two Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dogs,” said Mr Bannister. But despite the instructions of the defendant to attack, they turned out to be quite friendly.”

Slack then produced a hatchet from the belt of his trousers and chased after one of the men with it as another called the police.

One of the three passengers was knocked to the ground and injured.

Andrew Tucker, defending, said: “Plainly this is a serious matter, but there were a group of young men.”

Judge Richard Griffith-Jones told Slack: “You were intoxicated and behaving in an inconsiderate way which prompted attention from other people who were also intoxicated.

“If you had used the hatchet, not only would there have been serious injury, but the question of you going to prison would have been inevitable.”