Passenger’s fury as cabbie says he ‘looks like heroin addict’ on way to chemist

A taxi passenger secretly recorded a cabbie apologising after he said her and her husband looked like heroin and crack cocaine addicts.

The driver made the outrageous remark while taking the pair to a chemist in Milton, Staffordshire.

Wayne Murphy quizzed the cabbie about his derogatory 'druggie' comments while his wife, 33, taped the conversation, StokeOnTrent Live reports.

In the recording the taxi driver can be heard replying: "It's only because I thought you wouldn't take offence. It's a lesson learnt for me. I'm sorry."

Wayne, from Abbey Hulton , Staffordshire, 43, said: "We've been using Intercity for seven years and never had a problem.

"We were picked up as usual and on the journey the driver just said: 'Can I just say one thing to you guys?'. That's when he turned around and told us we look like crack cocaine and heroin users.

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"He said he just wanted to know if we take drugs and that he wanted to know so he could tell his kids not to use them.

"We started recording and asked: 'Why did you call us drug addicts, mate?'. There was just no call for it.

"We don't even look like drug addicts. I think he was just trying to get a reaction. It was pure nastiness.

"Me and my wife have never touched drugs in our lives. It's really knocked my wife's confidence. She's struggling with her mental health at the moment.

Here's a transcript of the taxi conversation:

Wayne: "Answer me one question before I get out of the  taxi… why did you actually say, don't take this the wrong way, but you've been on drugs."

Taxi driver: "It's only because I thought you might not take offence."

Wayne: "Yeah but you don't call someone druggies or drug-users if you don't know them, do you? That's what hurt me."

Taxi driver: "It's a lesson learnt for me."

Wayne's wife: "It is because we could have took it all a different way, yeah right, and reacted a whole lot differently."

Taxi driver: "Yeah"

Wayne: "But for your information, no, I'm not a druggie and a drug-user."

Taxi driver: "And nor am I. I'm sorry."

"He's not our regular taxi driver. We've never seen him before. My wife's so upset she won't get in a taxi anymore."

Furious Wayne called Intercity to lodge a complaint and has contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council which licences cabbies.

Wayne, who is a trained plasterer, added: "The taxi firm has told us that he was very sorry but I believe he should be reprimanded and have his licence taken away.

"You shouldn't speak to a customer in a taxi and call them drug addicts. Nobody's ever spoken to me like that. There can be no explanation for being so rude even if we were drug addicts.

"We will certainly never use Intercity again. I can cope with this sort of thing but my wife can't."

Intercity general manager Mike Gittens says he believes the matter has been resolved.

He said: "As with all complaints we have spoken to the driver who says it was a misunderstanding.

"If he has made those comments then it is completely unacceptable. As far as we were concerned, the customer was quite happy with our handling of the incident.

"The complaint will lie on the driver's file and if we receive any further issues he will be dealt with."

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