A GRAVESEND cabbie who got into a "girl fight" with a traffic warden in Bexleyheath has had a charge of assault against him dismissed.

Alieu Bah parked his Vauxhall Zafira minicab on a yellow line outside Albion Surgery in Pincott Road at around 11am on February 15, Bexley Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 43-year-old Express Cars driver claimed he went into the surgery to look for his fare but when he returned to his vehicle traffic warden Craig Crouziere was issuing him a ticket and a row followed.

Witness Georgina Abbott was leaving the Broadway Shopping Centre car park in her car when she spotted the ruckus taking place across the Albion Road dual carriageway.

The housewife told the court: "It didn’t look like a fight as you would see in a boxing ring but it looked like a girl fight, an old-school girl fight."

News Shopper:

News Shopper's front page on the story. 

Before the struggle broke out, Mrs Abbott said Mr Bah, of Bramble Mews, Gravesend, pleaded with the warden not to be given a ticket.

She added: "He then headed towards the traffic warden pleading still but a bit more aggressively. It was a bit more forceful and he was going towards the warden as he was backing away the whole time.

"Mr Bah then followed, with arms flailing I would say, towards the warden."

Mrs Abbott said she walked into a police station "at the first opportunity" after a copy of News Shopper came through her door a few days later with our front page story on the incident.

She said she wanted to correct Mr Bah’s account claiming the traffic warden had attacked him and hit him with his ticket machine. A copy of the story was shown to District Judge Roger Ede.

News Shopper:

Mr Bah with Express Cars director Keeley Allen. 

Mr Crouziere claimed in his evidence Mr Bah began "screaming and shouting and swearing" before jabbing him in the forehead with his car keys, trying to pull him over the railings outside the surgery and grabbing him in a headlock.

He told the court: "Mr Bah said ‘don’t put a ticket on my vehicle, don’t issue a ticket’. I said ‘sorry, it’s already printing’ and he said ‘if that comes through the post I will f**king kill you’."

Judge Ede dismissed the charge against Mr Bah after the prosecution did not challenge the account of another witness, Grace Liu, who claimed to see Mr Crouziere make the "initial assault" by hitting Mr Bah on the head with his ticket machine.

The judge said the crown’s witnesses differed too much in their evidence for him to safely convict Mr Bah after Mrs Abbott and another witness, Alison Tarling, did not agree on whether the cab driver had been in his car before the incident or emerging from the surgery.

A Bexley Council spokeswoman said: “We are disappointed with the outcome of this case, but it does send out a clear message that this is a difficult job and abuse will not be tolerated.

"The recent introduction of body worn video throughout our borough is already improving transparency for all concerned, including motorists - and it has already led to a successful prosecution for a different incident involving an assault on one of our civil enforcement officers.”