A 45-year-old care worker punched a taxi driver and grabbed his steering wheel as he drove along a Clitheroe road.
Blackburn magistrates heard the taxi crashed into a parked car and was a total write-off as a result of the collision.
And the court was told the offence was viewed as so serious it carried a maximum sentence at the Crown Court of seven years in prison.
Karl Paul Roberts (45), of George Street, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to causing danger to road users by behaving in a way, on Woone Lane, that would be obvious to a reasonable person that to do so would be dangerous. He was made subject to a four-month curfew between 9 pm and 6 am and ordered to pay £145 costs.
Catherine Allan (prosecuting) said there was a dispute over the fare to be paid by Roberts, who was under the influence of alcohol.
“The defendant punched the driver on the neck and then grabbed the steering wheel,” said Miss Allan. “The driver lost control and his vehicle crashed into a parked car. The taxi was a write-off and the driver suffered injuries. This was dangerous behaviour which could have killed someone and that is the reason for the high tariff on the sentence.”
Peter King (defending), said his client, a care worker, had no previous convictions. He said Roberts had struggled to make sense of the events of the evening.
“It seems there was a dispute over the fare and the driver claimed my client said he couldn’t pay,” said Mr King. “That doesn’t sit with the fact that when he was arrested my client had two £20 notes and a £10 note in his possession.”
He said Roberts had no recollection of the incident but accepted the taxi driver’s version of events.
“To strike someone is completely out of character for my client,” said Mr King. “He understands there was danger in what he did and he can’t put forward any rational explanation.”