Jailed Tweed got off lightly, says cab driver

The taxi driver attacked by Jade Goody’s widower Jack Tweed said today he “got off lightly” with a 12-week jail term because of who he married.

Tweed (aged 21) from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, was locked up yesterday for assaulting Stephen Wilkins following a night out in nearby Epping last May.

Mr Wilkins, 54, told the Daily Mirror: “If he had been Joe Bloggs he would have got what he deserved. It’s because of who he is and who he married he got off lightly.”

Mother-of-two Goody, who married Tweed in February, died last month following a battle with cancer.

Her husband was convicted last month for assaulting Mr Wilkins following a trial in Epping.

He picked up Tweed, another man and two women in Epping in the early hours of May 5.

Mr Wilkins said Tweed became aggressive after being asked to pay the fare in advance, grabbing him from behind in a headlock and threatening to stab him.

Tweed also grabbed the cab’s handbrake, causing the car to spin in the middle of the road, he said.

Mr Wilkins told the Mirror: “He could have killed four people and all he gets is a few weeks.

“I still have nightmares about that night. He has never apologised. He was like an animal.”

The attack happened while Tweed was on bail for another assault, on a 16-year-old boy in December 2006.

Tweed, who was ordered to pay £455 (€510) costs and £200 (€225) compensation to Mr Wilkins, was told he would serve half of his sentence in custody.

Margaret Webb, magistrates chairwoman, told him she had reduced the jail term from 18 weeks to take into account “the recent change in your personal circumstances”.

His lawyer, Tania Panagiotopoulou, told the court Tweed was now a “changed man” and “extremely regretful” about his behaviour.

She said he had been forced to “mature very quickly” coping with the illness and subsequent death of Goody.

After yesterday’s hearing, Tweed’s solicitor George Kampanella said the family felt the sentence was too harsh.

“The family are devastated and feel that Jack has been treated more severely because of who he is,” he said. “We are considering the prospects of an appeal.”

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