Cardiff taxi driver's life 'destroyed' after attack by a drunk passenger

Lewis Liddell, of Crawford Drive, Pontprennau, Cardiff, was sentenced to eight years in prison. Credit: Media Wales

A taxi driver has spoken about how an attack "destroyed his life" after suffering serious injuries when he was assaulted by a drunk passenger.Lewis Liddell from Pontprennau, Cardiff assaulted the taxi driver after drinking heavily and taking cocaine.After an argument with the driver, 34-year-old Liddell delivered a single punch, which knocked the driver out and caused him to hit the pavement.

The driver said his injuries have left him unable to work and even remember his own granddaughter.

In a victim impact statement which was read to Cardiff Crown Court, the man described how he had been a taxi driver for over 20 years and loved his job, but the attack has now left him scared to leave the house.

He said his wife had had to give up her job to look after him.

In a statement from the driver's son, he said his dad had been "a pillar of the community, the head of the household, and a loving grandfather" but now feels like he is a "burden" and "feels alive but not living; here but not present".

The prosecution told the court that before the assault, Liddell had been "drinking heavily" in bars in Cardiff city centre Credit: Media Wales

The defendant, Liddell, denied inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, but did not give evidence at his trial as he has no memory of the incident and "had nothing to say". The barrister added that at the time of the assault, Liddell was "undergoing a crisis of mental health".

The prosecution said that the assault took place the week before Christmas last year, after Liddell had been "drinking heavily" in bars around the centre of Cardiff.

After being refused his fare several times due to his level of intoxication, the defendant managed to secure a taxi.

The taxi stopped near Roath police station and the occupants were seen to be arguing, but the court heard it is not known what happened in the vehicle as neither driver nor passenger has any memory of the journey.

The prosecutor said both men got out of the cab, and Liddell was seen to grab the driver before throwing him to the floor.

A passer-by saw what was going on and shouted at Liddell, and Liddell then walked away. However, the court heard that Liddell then turned around and delivered a single, powerful punch to the taxi driver's head.

Eyewitness said the man was likely unconscious before he hit the pavement.Liddell then went into the nearby Don Leisure amusement arcade where he told customers he had been robbed but did not know what he had done.The defendant has previous convictions for criminal damage and battery, as well as cautions for taking a vehicle without consent, theft, and possession of a Class B drug.Judge Shomon Khan sentenced Liddell to eight years in prison. He will serve two-thirds of that period in custody, before being released on licence to serve the remainder in the community.