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Taxi driver handed suspended jail term for Whitehaven town centre attack

A WEST Cumbria taxi driver who attacked a man and assaulted a woman has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Jonathan Corlett, 36, committed the crimes after going to pick up a fare in Whitehaven town centre which did not materialise.

After he got out of his vehicle, Corlett was said to have been followed and subjected to abuse by Ronald Acton, who “went to assault” him.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that Corlett reacted by punching Mr Acton four or five times, leaving him on the floor and “covered in blood”. The taxi driver then assaulted his victim’s partner, Joanne O’Fee, by grabbing, shaking and pulling her into the road.

Corlett admitted wounding and assault charges. He claimed to have struck Mr Acton having feared an attack, but accepted his actions went beyond reasonable self-defence.

After hearing mitigation, Recorder Julie Clemitson suspended a seven-month jail term for 18 months, and imposed 200 hours’ unpaid work and rehabilitation. The court heard Corlett, of Aldby Street, Cleator Moor, had since lost his taxi driving job.

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