A TAXI driver has walked free from court after blaming the stress of being robbed at gunpoint for attacking a passenger with a wheel brace.

Preston Crown Court heard Khawar Sohail, 33, flipped out and started attacking his three passengers with a metal device for no reason on December 20.

Sohail admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, criminal damage and carrying an offensive weapon after picking up a fare from the Premier Inn hotel in Chorley town centre.

The court heard Sohail, of Eaves Lane, Chorley, collected a businessman and two of his business associates from Germany and was asked to drive them to the Blue Elephant Indian restaurant in Dawbers Lane, Euxton.

In his defence, the court was told a psychiatrist had said Sohail had a heightened sense of awareness on the evening of the attack after suffering a traumatic incident just weeks before.

Sohail was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months, a four-month seven-day electronic curfew between the hours of of 8pm and 7am and an 18-month supervision order.

The court also heard Sohail had been stripped of his taxi licence after the assault.