Man put taxi driver in headlock and bit off ear over £8.80 fare

Robert Fleming pounced on Gerard Magee in a row over the taxi fare on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.

Robert Fleming put taxi driver in a headlock then bit off his ear in row over £8.80 fare in Glasgow Google Maps

A man bit a taxi driver’s ear off amid a row over an £8.80 fare.

Robert Fleming, 27, pounced on Gerard Magee in Glasgow city centre’s Sauchiehall Street on October 8, 2021.

Fleming refused to pay the fare or leave the taxi when told by Mr Magee.

The pair later got involved in a struggle in which Mr Magee was put in a headlock.

The attacker shouted: “I will bite your f***ing ear off.”

Fleming repeatedly punched his victim before chewing on the top of his ear.

Fleming was convicted at Glasgow Sheriff Court of assaulting Mr Magee to his severe injury and permanent disfigurement.

The court heard Fleming’s friend booked a taxi from the city’s Knightswood into the city centre.

He was dropped off at Sauchiehall Street and the £8.80 fare was refused.

Mr Magee told the court that he ordered Fleming to leave his taxi but he refused.

He then dragged the passenger out by his legs as Fleming grabbed the seat to stay inside.

Mr Magee said: “He told me he was going to stab me.”

Mr Magee punched Fleming once in “self-defence.”

Fleming then made the threat about biting Mr Magee’s ear off.

The victim was put into a headlock, was repeatedly punched and had the top of his ear bitten off.

Prosecutor Lauren Donnelly told jurors in her closing speech: “This was a man who was in his place of work carrying out a service to the public trying to make a living.”

Mr Magee immediately went to hospital where he was treated with 20 stitches.

The trial was told that he has the option of an operation to have the ear prophetically treated.

He later walked from his home to the police station nearby to report the matter.

Phil McWilliams, defending, said: “You walked two minutes in the October cold with a gaping gash on your ear, there must have been a reason?”

Mr Magee replied: “It was stitched up, it wasn’t a gaping wound.”

Mr McWilliams asked: “It must have been agony?”

Mr Magee replied: “Yes.”

Mr Magee refuted Mr McWilliams’ suggestions that the taxi driver “had the better of the young man” and that Fleming bit his ear to get away from him.

Sentence was deferred pending background reports until the end of the month.

Fleming, who appeared from custody, had his remand continued in the meantime.

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