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'Misfits' Lauren Socha sentenced over racist attack on taxi driver

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Lauren Socha

© PA Images / Jonathan Short/AP

Lauren Socha, a star of E4's Misfits, has pleaded guilty to racially aggravated assault of a taxi driver.

The BAFTA-winning actress, who plays Kelly in the teen drama, was sentenced to four months in jail for attacking Sakander Iqbal in Derby city centre in the early hours of the morning on October 1 last year.

Socha was accused of punching and racially abusing the cab driver following a nine-hour drinking session. Iqbal, 52, is quoted by The Independent as saying that the incident represents the worst abuse he has received since moving to the UK in 1970.

"She called me a P**i, a dirty b**stard and said, 'You're Asian, f**k off back to where you came from'," he told reporters. "She said, 'Do you know who I am? I'll have your family lifted'."

Speaking outside the court, Iqbal added: "It made me feel absolutely terrible. I'm extra careful now whenever I pick anybody up in my taxi. It's left me really distraught."

Judge Hilary Watson sentenced her to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months, telling her: "Your conduct on that night was despicable and Mr Iqbal rightly brought it to the attention of the police and then the courts.

"When heavily in drink and pumped up you chose to express yourself in that despicable way."

Outside the court, 21-year-old Socha insisted that she "cared" about the consequences of her actions.

Her mother, Kathleen Lyons, apologised on Socha's behalf outside the court but claimed her behaviour was "out of character".

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