Police are investigating a taxi driver who allegedly told a passenger she would “burn in hell” for being a lesbian.
Outraged Ashley Rynsard claims the Skyline cabbie made continous homophobic comments about her sexuality, her hairstyle and the way she dressed.
“The first thing he said when I got in the cab was: ‘Are you a man?’ Then he asked why I had ‘man tattoes’ and why my hair was so short. He went on and on, trying to goad me,” said the 25-year-old.
“At first I tried to be polite but after a while it really got to me and I demanded he stop the taxi so I could get out.”
When Ashley got out, some distance from her destination, the driver’s parting words were “burn in hell”, she said.
“That was the last straw and I knew I had to report it to police. Nobody should be told to burn in hell just for being gay.”
Ashley, who wears a suit for her job at Garudaa Gentlemen’s Club in CMK, posted details of her bad experience on Facebook. The post attracted dozens of comments from other people in MK who said they had endured similar goading from taxi drivers.
“I knew it went on because my partner Kerry has had the same homophobic treatment in taxis. But I didn’t realise the extent of it,” she said.
A spokesman for Skyline said the driver had worked with them for 10 years and there had never been a previous complaint.
He said: “We take all complaints seriously and we’ve advised Taxi Licensing. We will support the police and Taxi Licensing in the investigation.”
Police have pledged to investigate fully and are encouraging any other victims to come forward.
A police spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police takes incidents of this nature extremely seriously and is determined to tackle them by working with communities and partners to reduce them. We wish to encourage confidence in reporting these types of incident and by effectively investigating those that are reported to us.”
Skyline is the biggest taxi firm in MK and has more than 700 drivers. They are the firm used by Pink Punters nightclub, which commands very high standards.