Aristocrat booked for abusing Sikh driver
An English aristocrat and the heir apparent to the dukedom of Marlborough has been accused of racially abusing a Sikh taxi driver who had arrived to collect him for an appearance in court.world Updated: Aug 10, 2007 21:01 IST
An English aristocrat and the heir apparent to the dukedom of Marlborough has been accused of racially abusing a Sikh taxi driver who had arrived to collect him for an appearance in court last month.
On July 19 driver Davinder Singh responded to a booking to pick up Charles James Spencer-Churchill, known as Jamie Blandford, from his farm home in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, and take him to Coventry for a court appearance.
Singh, 46, said his problems began when he rang to check the exact address. He claimed they escalated when he arrived at the house. He was greeted by a torrent of abuse, a derogatory racial remark and called a Hindu.
"He said I should remember I was a guest in this country," said Singh, who has been a taxi driver for almost 25 years. Singh said it was then that he turned down the 120-pound fare and drove off.
"I would not take it," Singh said. "Even if it was the prime minister I would not take him if he spoke to me like that."
"He told me I would never work for the company again. It was like he was saying he could do anything because he was rich and I was poor."
The Sikh driver contacted the police and Blandford was arrested and questioned on his suspected racially aggravated behaviour the following day, Daily Mail reported.
"I am going to press charges against him, definitely. I am not going to let this go away," Singh said.
He plans to launch a claim for damages in the civil courts once the police have completed their criminal investigation.
Blandford, who has a history of crime and drug problems, appeared in court on Monday on a different case of road rage in which it is alleged that he screamed abuses and kicked the door of another motorist. The 51-year-old pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, careless driving and one count of criminal damage.
He was released on bail and will be sentenced next month.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman confirmed that they had arrested a man following a report from Singh.
"On July 20, a man was arrested for racially aggravated public order and bailed pending further investigations," he said.
Blandford's solicitor refused to comment on the allegations while the police inquiry was on. Blandford has frequently flirted with controversy and was largely disinherited by his father who disapproved of his exuberant way of living.