London - A senior police officer attacked a taxi driver he thought was deliberately using a long route to take him home.
Sardesh Hassan, 41, said he was terrified when former superintendent Robert Kirman, 47, began swearing and banging on the glass panel in his taxi.
The officer, who has since quit the police, was furious that the driver appeared to be taking him and his female companion home the long way in August last year.
In fact, Mr Hassan, an Iraqi Kurd who fled to the UK 15 years ago, had no choice because several roads in Wrexham, north Wales, had been closed off.
The driver said on Friday night: "There was a one-way system in town because a circus was being set up.
"They started banging on the window behind me in the taxi. They were shouting and swearing, banging with fists on the panel.
"They were angry that I was taking the diversion and they wanted to get out. I said: “Please calm down, the road is closed.”’
Mr Hassan eventually stopped near the taxi rank where he worked and called police.
He claimed Kirman, who was off duty, got out, grabbed him and took his keys.
"He was obviously drunk, still shouting," said Mr Hassan. "He kept saying “I am a police officer”. I said: “You should not be like this – you don’t look like a police officer.’ I was scared."
He added: "It was only a 20-minute taxi journey but it was a nightmare. I escaped Iraq to avoid trouble and it was a shock to find this happening to me in the UK."
When questioned, Kirman allegedly told officers he believed Mr Hassan was kidnapping them.
But CCTV revealed what had really happened and Kirman was charged with assaulting Mr Hassan. He resigned from North Wales Police 12 days after pleading guilty last month to using threatening or abusive behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, causing £366 (about R5 900) of damage to Mr Hassan’s car and common assault.
He is due to be sentenced at Mold Magistrate's Court on Monday and will face a police misconduct hearing next month.
It is understood the woman with Kirman was a police civilian worker who has accepted a caution for threatening behaviour. She has since been sacked for discrediting the force and undermining confidence in policing.
Richard Debicki, assistant chief constable of North Wales Police, said the public and police service had the right to expect the highest standards of personal and professional conduct from their officers and staff on or off duty.
He added: "As well as the criminal investigation, North Wales Police also conducted an internal misconduct investigation and although the officer has already resigned from the force, a public misconduct hearing will take place on March 1."