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Man jailed after taxi driver loses eye in attack

Russell Owen Thomas of Llandudno was jailed for three years. Credit: North Wales Police

A North Wales taxi driver had his left eye removed after he was attacked by a wild passenger Mold Crown Court has heard.

The victim Richard Brennan Mattison was maimed for life and now faces an uncertain future – with the possibility that he may lose the sight in his other eye.

His attacker Russell Owen Thomas, 26, of of Bodhyfryd Road in Llandudno, was jailed for three years after he admitted wounding and damaging Mr Mattison’s Fiat taxi vehicle.

Mold Crown Court heard how Thomas – who has a previous conviction for robbery – head-butted the Perspex screen protecting the driver and a jaggered piece severed his left eye.

Thomas then callously left him alone in the dark – badly injured and bleeding profusely.

Thomas had thrown £20 for the fare through the gap and £45 for the damage.

A police officer realised the enormity of the injury and called an ambulance and he was rushed to Glan Clwyd Hospital at Bodelwyddan where he remained for a week.

Judge Peter Heywood said, "You caused a catastrophic injury to this taxi driver which have blighted his life. In my view, taxi drivers working in the early hours of the morning to ensure that people get home safely are vulnerable."

Victim Richard Brennan Mattison said he's been subjected to “gangster style intimidation” and said he had been threatened with death if he gave his attacker’s name to the police.