Moment thug beat taxi driver within an inch of his life in street attack

Dashcam footage shows the moment a thug halted a taxi to subject the driver to a savage beating that would leave him fighting for his life.

The video shows the defendant, Callum McDermott, staggering in the middle of the road in Saffron Lane, Leicester at 6.40am, on August 23 when he kicked a taxi.

The 45-year-old driver approached him holding a fire extinguisher amid the tooting horns of impatient commuters.

McDermott then attacked the driver, a married father of three, raining down 18 punches, kicks and stamps.

He then walked away as the smaller man lay unconscious on the floor, but returned and stamped or kicked him six more times with 'full-force'.

Police were called to the scene after the incident but McDermott claimed he didn't know why they were there.

But he attacked three officers, breaking the nose of one officer in four places and injuring his eye.

Leicester Crown Court heard McDermott was then sprayed with an incapacitant and taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary where he made racist comments to staff who were trying to treat him.

It was unclear whether the taxi driver would survive the attack for two weeks as his distraught wife waited by his bedside.

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It is believed that her husband's 'thinking abilities may be permanently damaged' and he has also been left with poor balance and struggles to walk at times.

The victim, who was once described as a 'calm man' now gets angry and frustrated and has said several times that he feels it would have been better if he has passed away from his injuries.

Judge Timothy Spencer QC told 33-year-old McDermott: "It's a dreadful, dreadful picture and a dreadful, dreadful story."

The judge added the impact on the injured officer, who suffered facial fractures, was significant and caused extreme distress to his son. McDermott originally stood trial, charged with attempted murder, but was found not guilty.

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He pleaded guilty to an alternative count of intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm to the taxi driver. He also admitted causing actual bodily harm to a police officer and assaulting two emergency workers, by kicking two constables, as well as racially aggravated threatening behaviour at hospital and a police station.

McDermott was said to have suffered from a traumatic childhood and suffers from PTSD. In the weeks leading up to the incident, he was admitted several times to Leicester's Bradgate psychiatric unit, where he caused wanton damage during hostile and manic outbursts, one leading to his arrest. He was discharged from the unit on August 2.

It is believed he had been "on a bender" with drugs and alcohol with is cousin in Ashby-de-la-Zouch the night before.

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His solicitor/advocate, Helen Johnson, told the court: "He didn't get the treatment he needed from the Bradgate Unit and was released in a poor state of health. His mental health was very bad at the time of this incident.

"Whilst in custody (on remand), he's been receiving the treatment he needs, with long term psychological intervention and medication. He's now getting the help he's been asking for from the age of 13."

McDermott began arguing with the judge during sentencing and was ordered he leave the dock and wait in the court cells, without hearing in open court how long he would have to stay in prison.

However, the judge said he accepted the defendant was remorseful for his actions.

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He was jailed for 10 years and eight months – of which he will serve two thirds. He was given an additional five-year licence extension, as the judge said he was a "dangerous" offender, with a substantial risk of future harm to the public.

The judge publicly commended three members of the public, two men and a woman, who "bravely" tried to intervene at the scene and awarded them £300 each from public funds.

McDermott also admitted being the owner of a dangerously out of control dog, that was said to have been a banned breed but the fate of the animal will be decided at a later date.

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