A FARE dodger threatened to kill a Prestwick taxi driver before jumping out of the vehicle in a bid to evade a £40 charge for his journey.

Neil Farquhar, 41, appeared in court for sentencing after admitting charges of threatening behaviour, culpable and reckless conduct and hiring a taxi without paying or intending to pay in the early hours of January 29 this year.

He was ordered to pay compensation after he admitted making threats to kill and causing the taxi driver alarm.

Kilmarnock Sheriff Court heard Farquhar had only handed over £10 of the fare agreed to take him from Prestwick to Kilwinning.

Procurator fiscal depute Chris Munro told the court: “At 2.30am the witness, a taxi driver, was parked in Main Street, Preswick. Two males, one of whom was the accused, agreed to pay £40 to be dropped off in Kilwinning. 

"The first male was dropped off at Corsehill Stores without issue. The accused asked to be taken to the Dirrans area.

"The witness dropped the accused off and asked for the fare. The accused handed over £10 and said 'that's all you're f***ing getting'.

"This was disputed by the witness, and an argument commenced, while driving towards Irvine police office.

"As the witness was driving along Marress Road, Irvine, the accused began shouting and swearing at him. The accused was in the witness's face. 

"The accused continued shouting and swearing and making threats to kill and assault the witness. 

"The accused jumped from the rear into the front passenger side, then opened the front passenger side door while the vehicle was doing 25mph.

“The witness was concerned it was not safe to be driving. 

"The accused exited and the witness flagged down police officers. The accused was traced a short distance away.

"He was released on an undertaking to appear in court and was not formally cautioned or charged."

Defence solicitor Alex Muir said: "It's unusual for someone his age [to offend]. He is someone who does not drink to excess, but on this occasion did.

"Quite clearly he accepts he behaved very badly. It appears there was no issues initially when his friend was in the car."

Sheriff Alistair Watson said: "This is extremely serious but it appears you not been in trouble before.

"This must have been very distressing for the driver, as well as the money lost."

Farquhar was ordered to pay £430 in compensation to the driver, including the remaining fare, as well as a £20 payment to the Scottish Government victim surcharge fund.