#TheList taxi driver Andrew Feeney born c. 1971, of 4 Haweswater Road, Redcar TS10 1LP – hit a little dog with his taxi, dragged him along for 40 yards then drove away, leaving him dying in the road
Feeney, who works for Redcar firm Elite Taxis, collided with 12-month-old Bedlington terrier/spaniel cross Bear on Sandsend Road in Redcar.
Upsetting CCTV footage showed the little black and white dog “pinned” to the front of Feeney’s taxi.
After the pup drops to the floor, Feeney then makes off in his vehicle. The stricken animal can then be seen lying on his back kicking his legs as people rushed to help.
Bear was taken to a vet but his injuries were so severe he had to be put to sleep. The vet said he would have likely survived if the taxi had stopped immediately after hitting him.
Prosecutor Ann Mitchell told the court how Bear’s owner had been mowing the lawn shortly after 11am on Tuesday 25 September 2018 when the dog clambered over the front garden wall.
The owner watched Bear disappear down Runswick Avenue on to Sandsend Road but as he went to retrieve him, he saw the pup pinned to the front of the taxi.
A Royal Mail postal worker on the street at the time said she had heard “a loud bang” then saw the taxi which “seemed to speed up”.
“About 40 yards on I saw the animal laid in the road with his legs in the air,” she said.
“The taxi had not slowed at all, in fact I thought it had sped up.
“The driver must have known he had hit something as the sound was loud in the post van which had the windows up and doors shut”.
Bear’s owner said their ordeal had a “massive” emotional impact on the family.
His partner had struggled to come to terms with the loss of their pet and criticised him for allowing the dog to be in the garden. They had ended up separating over their differences, he said.
In a statement he said: “I not only lost my beloved dog but my partner and mother of my six children.”
Feeney denied failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report it but was found guilty of the offences after a trial.
When interviewed by police, Feeney agreed he had driven along the road but said he did not hit the dog and was only aware of the incident as he had been accused on Facebook.
Hours after hitting Bear, he had taken the Skoda Octavia to be repaired and told the mechanic the damage to the front had been caused after hitting a cat.
However, the mechanic, with 18 years’ experience in professional bodywork restoration, said it was unlikely that such damage could have been caused by a cat.
Defending, Sarah Lish had suggested the officer investigating should have inspected other cars as there were other taxis of a similar description.
But the court heard Feeney’s taxi had five “distinctive” stickers on the side which could be seen clearly on the footage.
The magistrates said it was “inconceivable” that any other person could have been responsible for the accident.
Sentencing: fined £962 and ordered to pay costs and charges of £489. Eight penalty points were added to Feeney’s licence.