A REDDITCH man has been jailed for two-and-a-half years for a racially aggravated attack on a taxi driver and punching another man on the head with a knuckle duster.

21-year-old Liam Perkins, of Cardy Close, had been drinking with friends when they all got a taxi back from Birmingham, Worcester Crown Court heard.

They had agreed a fare of £35 and then a couple, including Perkins, asked to be taken further.

An extra payment of £5 was negotiated but Perkins got angry about the cost, Andrew Wilkins, prosecuting, told the court.

He made a racial insult to the driver, Muzaffar Hussain and punched him on the back of the head.

Mr Hussain fled from the car near the Winyates Centre in Redditch and Perkins ran after him, punching him to the ground and kicking him.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Hussain, a taxi driver for 15 years, said the incident had seriously affected his life.

He had lost confidence because of the dental procedures and although he had carried on working, he was now fearful of taking large groups of passengers since the incident, on January 5 last year.

Perkins was released on bail and on September 26 last year in Redditch, he heard that a man he knew, Mark Tongue, had been involved in a fight with his father, Mr Wilkins said.

He found Mr Tongue and punched him on the back of the head using a knuckle duster, causing a cut.

He threw the weapon into some shrubs nearby but was seen by passing police officers.

The court heard Perkins was already under a suspended sentence order for a previous offence of violence.

Walter Bealby, defending, said Perkins was not a violent and dangerous man.

He had been drinking on the night of the incident with the taxi driver and had "lost his cool" over the fare.

In the second incident, he had heard about the fight involving his father and had gone to help.

Mr Bealby said Perkins had a job as a decorator and had learnt his lesson while in prison on remand for the last five months.

Judge Michael Cullum said Perkins, who pleaded guilty to all charges, had a record of violent offences and an immediate custodial sentence had to be imposed.

He was given a total of 19 months for racially aggravated assault causing actual bodily harm, five months for the second assault causing actual bodily harm and three months for having the knuckle dusters as an offensive weapon to run concurrently, making a total of 30 months.