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A CAB CUSTOMER who hit a taxi driver so hard he broke his jaw after he refused to pay the fare has been warned he faces jail.

Antony Patsalos (25) broke down in tears after he was told he could go to prison for the violent assault on Ayanie Nageye, a licensed London hackney carriage driver for eight years.

Mr Nageye picked up Patsalos and two friends in Clapham High Street after an evening out drinking in the area on June 8 last year. The cabbie dropped off a male passenger and then drove to Balham with Patsalos and a female friend. On arrival, the 25 year old was asked to pay the £31. Instead of paying, he offered just £20 and then began a foul mouthed rant against taxi drivers.

The jury at the Old Bailey heard Patsalos swore at the taxi driver and shouted: “I’m not going to pay you anything” and then assaulted the cabbie.

Mr Nageye said: “I started to go back to my cab to leave. He went  to the back of my taxi and I never thought he was going to do anything. I was not expecting anything.

“Then I realised that he was going to hit me deliberately, while I was opening the door and looking down. I was trying to get into my taxi and he hit me on the jaw. I was crying and I immediately called 999. I had to drive myself to hospital, where they told me I had a fractured jaw.”

Patsalos admitted that he was drunk on the day of the attack but insisted he had done nothing wrong. He claimed Mr Nageye was responsible for the melee but the jury did not believe him and unanimously found him guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to the taxi driver.

Patsalos will be sentenced at a later date.

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