Taxi Driver Jailed For Running Over Passenger After Argument
A moment of panic saw Melbourne taxi driver Amenpreed Ratol mow down his own passenger after a fight over directions.
Ratol, 33, had been arguing with Trent Atkinson on Flinders Street on December 4, 2016.
Atkinson had pulled up Ratol’s handbrake, grabbed his taxi identification and jumped out of the cab after they argued over the best way to Cranbourne.
Ratol became so flustered that when he went to drive off he didn't realise which way his tyres were facing, and knocked Atkinson down.
He then fled the scene as Atkinson’s friends went to help.
The entire incident was caught on nearby security cameras.
That minute of madness has had a lasting impact on the Atkinson family, including his parents Peter and Michelle who were in court.
“We've been to every court date, emotionally it has been really bad,” Michelle Atkinson said.
The judge accepted that Ratol was remorseful, sentencing him to two-and-a-half years behind bars.
“I accept that the actions were spontaneous and an ill judge panicked reaction brought about by the issues of flight from a perceived threat from Mr Atkinson and his companion,” Judge Michael McInerney said.
One of the victim's legs was shattered to pieces and he's been unable to go back to work as a track rider.
“He's very active, very outgoing so you know with all the injury he did receive it has changed his life,” Peter Atkinson said.
Ratol is an Indian national and had been living illegally in Melbourne after overstaying his student visa.
He’ll spend a minimum of 15 months behind bars.