- Uber driver Shahab Akbar, 33, punched a mother-of-one in the face twice
- Paramedic Taleka White, 27, said he became enraged outside her home
- Driver became angry when Taleka's friend asked for different drop offs
- Akbar found guilty of racially aggravated common assault but avoided jail
Taleka White, 27 a paramedic, was forced to take time off work after being brutally attacked by her Uber driver last year
An Uber driver who punched a female passenger in the face and called her a 'black c***' when her friend asked for another drop off point has avoided prison.
Taleka White, 27 a paramedic, was forced to take time off work after being brutally attacked by her Uber driver last year.
Shahab Akbar, 33, dragged the mother-of-one from his car and hit her twice in the face after flying into a rage outside her parents' house in Addiscombe, south London.
A court heard the driver became angry after confusion arose when Miss White's friend asked for different drop off points.
Miss White, who had never used an Uber before, was left with a lump on her head, bruising to her face and a bloody wrist and knuckles.
Speaking shortly after the incident on November 29 last year, Miss White, who has a four-year-old son said: 'Just one night out has led to a whirlwind of events which he has no concept of.
'It happened in the early hours of the morning - about 3am. My friend and I had been to a bar in East Croyden and we wanted to get home.
'I'd never used Uber before so she called for one on her phone.
'She wasn't sure how to use the app to say that we wanted to be dropped off at different addresses - but we thought we'd explain it to the driver when he arrived.
'When we ordered it - my friend couldn't see the registration number - but she thought nothing of it and assumed there was a problem with the system - just his face and the route on the map came up.
'She got a call from the driver to say he'd arrived and we got in the cab and explained we wanted to go to different addresses.
'Initially he had no problem with it, but after, as he was driving to the address he became quite agitated.
'There was a misunderstanding about where the address was and then we got near and she said he could pull up there and he started yelling: 'Get out of my fucking cab'.
The next morning Miss White went to A&E to get x-rays on her hand and Uber suspended the driver after she reported the attack
Akbar continued to drive and Miss White tried to reassure him that her stop was less than 20 minutes away and that he would be paid.
But Akbar's language became increasingly aggressive.
Miss White said: 'He called me a black c*** and a black 'b****' and told me to shut my 'f****** face' and said 'she gave me the wrong address'.
'I just went quiet and I thought maybe staying silent would diffuse the situation.
'I was in the cab alone with him and my battery on my phone had gone at the end of a long day. I wasn't sure what he was going to do.
He continued to drive in the right direction so I just stayed quiet.
But when the pair reached Miss White's stop, Akbar's behaviour escalated to full-on assault.
Miss White said: 'I was being dropped off at my parents' and when we arrived I had a can of coke in one hand and a kebab in the other.
But when we arrived he dragged out of the car by my right arm and punched me in the face.
'My drink went everywhere but I used the car to hold myself up. I was yelling, asking him what his problem was, why he was doing it to me, hoping my parents would hear from inside.
'The second time he punched me, I went flying and hit the pavement.
'My mum came out just to see the car driving away and found my lying on the pavement.'
Miss White's mum told her daughter to take pictures of her injuries an call 999.
The next morning Miss White went to A&E to get x-rays on her hand and Uber suspended the driver after she reported the attack.
The case went to trial and Akbar was found guilty of racially aggravated common assault in September.
Akbar was handed a 16 week prison sentence suspended for 24 months, at Croydon Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work as a community on top of £620 in costs and £115 in victim surcharge.
Akbar was also ordered to pay £500 in compensation to Miss White.
Uber confirmed Akbar no longer has a private hire license which is needed to work for the firm.
An Uber spokesperson said: 'We were appalled by this horrific incident. Uber does not tolerate violence or discrimination of any kind.
'We assisted the police with their investigation and immediately stopped this licensed driver from being able to use our app.'