A REDDITCH teenager who punched a taxi driver in the face after a night at a party has been sent into custody.

Jordan McLaughlin, of Hewell Road, Redditch had drunk 13 cans of beer before he went to a party at a pub where he drank vodka, Worcester Crown Court heard.

Sharonjit Bahia, prosecuting, told the court McLaughlin, who was 16 at the time, got into a cab with three friends between 11.30pm and midnight on November 2, 2012, knowing they did not have money for the fare.

Driver Abdul Habib was worried about taking them because they were drunk and he was subjected to abuse during the journey. There was an argument with him over their destination and when he stopped the cab, McLaughlin punched him in the face from behind and fractured his eye socket. He then ran off with the others, Miss Bahia said.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm and also admitted attempting to pervert the course of justice by exchanging text messages discussing ways the offence could be covered up, though he did not carry any of these out.

Cathryn Orchard, defending, said McLaughlin had been drinking a lot at the time of the offence because of family problems. He had since stopped and worked hard to get nine GCSEs and be taken on in an apprenticeship. She handed a number of references to the court.

Judge Robert Juckes, QC, said McLaughlin had knocked the driver unconscious and his later text messages showed his only concern was to think how he could get away with it.

He gave McLaughlin eight months in a young offenders institution for the assault and two months for attempting to pervert the course of justice, making a total of 10 months.

A 17-year-old who also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice and who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be dealt with in youth court.