AN irate taxi driver who deliberately "rammed" a woman's car with his minibus during a road-rage incident has had his jail sentence halved by top judges.

K Car driver Robert Allan Atkinson, 38, was suffering from stress following the breakdown of his marriage when he "rammed into" the front of Lee Bell's car outside the main post office in Kendal and hit her with a volley of abuse.

Atkinson, who was enraged because Mrs Bell's parked vehicle was making it difficult for him to perform a three point turn, caused £400 worth of damage and left her "shaken and upset" when he deliberately reversed into her car on July 23 last year.

The cabbie, formerly of Empson Road, Kendal, and now of Lynn Road, Littleport, Cambs, was jailed for a year and banned from the road for 18 months in February, after pleading guilty to dangerous driving at Carlisle Crown Court.


Lady Justice Macur, Mr Justice Blake and Mr Justice Stuart-Smith, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, cut his jail tem to six months and his driving ban to 12 months.

The court heard that Mrs Bell had dropped off her daughter at the Westmorland Shopping Centre in Kendal and was waiting for her in her car when Atkinson told her to move so he could turn his bus round.

When she was unable to do so because she was blocked in by the minibus and pedestrians, Atkinson lost his temper, purposely crashing into her car and abusing her before driving off after she said she was fetching the police.

He denied any wrong-doing when arrested but later admitted his crime when shown CCTV footage of the incident.

A previous hearing at Carlisle Crown Court heard that Atkinson had told police that he had been ‘a little bit aggressive’ and was ‘agitated’ because he wanted to get the mini-bus out of the car park so that he could do his job.

Lady Justice Macur today deplored the "road rage incident", saying that it deserved to have been met with an immediate custodial sentence.

However she halved the jail term after finding it was too long, given the nature of the incident.

She also reduced his driving ban in light of the effect it would have on his ability to earn a living as a taxi driver upon release from jail.