A TAXI driver who was subjected to a brutal attack which saw a man jailed for ten years has been praised by a judge. 

During sentencing, the judge recommended the victim be commended by the High Sheriff and rewarded with £500 - recognising her bravery throughout the ordeal. 

The 58-year-old has been a cabbie in Basildon for the majority of her working life, but suffered a badly broken hip - which needed replacing - and injuries to her face when she was attacked after trying to help what appeared to be an ill driver.

She was driving along Southernhay, Basildon, at about 3.40am on December 8 when she saw John Eggleton-Thompson, 24, slumped at the wheel of a parked car.

He got out of his car and attacked her punching her to the ground and then kicking her in the head - “like a football”.

Eggleton-Thompson of Mill Lane, Grays, was handed a nine-year prison sentence for GBH and a one-year prison sentence to run consecutively for dangerous driving at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday - the victim admitted she was pleased with the sentence as she expected the court to be more lenient.

Despite her injuries healing, although she still attends physiotherapy for her hip, she admitted she is still battling the mental scares.

She said: “If you knew me before, I was never scared, working nights, working late, it didn’t affect me, now I just cannot face it. I have tried to go back to work, I did one shift, but I was too on edge the whole time, but that is what he has done to me. It was a brutal attack, and I am confident in saying he had no regard for my life on the night, we don’t know if he was on drugs, but he left me for dead.

“He is in prison, but I am the one left to live with this.”

The Good Samaritan had simply been trying to help. She admitted she did not think twice about it when she spotted him slumped at the wheel.

“That is the kind of person I am,” she said.

“But the moment the door open, he unleashed his fury, I was kicked, stamped on, so viciously I could not tell you how many times it was.

“The only way I can describe it is that he kicked my head like a football.”

And the gravity of the incident has left her wanting move from Basildon as soon as possible.

She said: “I don’t want to be here anymore simply, I have lived and worked her all my life, but I don’t want to do it any longer.

“I don’t want to work, I don’t want to see the area, maybe a change of scenery will help that. Basildon has been going down hill, and this is the final straw for me.”

Eggleton-Thompson then drove away from the scene in his Ford Focus.

After attempting to stop the car, Eggleton-Thompson proceeded to ram a police vehicle until he was forced to stop in White Elm Road, Bicknacre.

He failed to provide a specimen for drink and drug tests so was charged with that as well.

A passenger in Eggleton-Thompson’s car, a 33-year-old woman from Tilbury, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of possession of drugs and was later released without charge.

Investigating officer Det Con Rob Lewis, of Basildon CID, said: “Eggleton-Thompson subjected the victim to a violent and sustained attack, leaving her so seriously injured she needed hip replacement surgery.

“The judge recognised how she had acted with incredible public spiritedness and courageous.

“She could easily have driven past without stopping, but was concerned for the driver’s safety and that of other people should he continue to drive.

“The sentence handed to Eggleton-Thompson reflects the brutality of the attack and I hope it gives her some comfort that he will remain in prison for a significant amount of time.”