A young City broker headbutted a black taxi driver before slamming his head in the cab's door - inflicting wounds that needed a total of sixteen stitches - after jumping the late-night fare.
University of Sussex graduate James Browning, 26, an associate on the London Metal Exchange, had consumed five pints and two vodka cocktails, but denies he was high on cocaine.
Camberwell Green Magistrates' Court heard: "In the words of the driver, Browning was jumping up and down like Tarzan, ripping his shirt off and spoiling for a fight."
Browning, of Keppel Row, America Street, Southwark is employed by the Newedge Group, of Bishops Square, Bishopsgate and avoided jail after the probation service recommended an unpaid work order.
He pleaded guilty to assaulting Essex cabbie Dean Wendleken, 49, causing him actual bodily harm, in Great Guildford Street, Southwark on April 5 and making off without paying his £24.80 fare.
Prosecutor Mr. Christian Wheeliker told the court Browning (pictured) hailed the taxi in Stratford at 3am and asked to be taken to an address behind the Tate Modern.
"When asked if he had a good night the defendant replied: 'No. I've had a crap night. I always do when my friends get me on charlie.'
"That is slang for cocaine," Mr. Wheeliker told the magistrates.
The cabbie did a u-turn outside a Shell petrol station cashpoint so Browning could withdraw money for the fare, but Browning returned to the cab, claiming he had lost his wallet and bank cards.
"He then ran off down a one-way street that Mr. Wendleken could not drive down, but the victim found him and after parking the cab walked over and held him by the coat to stop him running away.
"The taxi driver said: 'Look this is stupid. Give me your details, give me a business card and let me have thirty pounds tomorrow.'
"Browning told Mr. Wendleken he worked at ten Bishops Square, then said: 'I aint giving you fuck all.'
"Mr. Wendleken says he was then headbutted by the defendant to the left side of his jaw and there was a scuffle, but he decided it was not worth it and returned to his cab.
"In the words of the driver Browning was jumping up and down like Tarzan, ripping his shirt off and spoiling for a fight.
"As he tried to get into his taxi the door was shut on his head between the door and the frame and he realised he was covered in blood.
"He says he felt dizzy and saw blood pouring."
Mr. Wendleken was seen by a plastic surgeon at St. Thomas's Hospital, who treated lacerations to both ears and above the left eye.
"The defendant left his coat and phone at the scene and that is how he was tracked down by the police," explained Mr. Wheeliker. "He told the officers: 'It's one of those situations I'd like to apologise to the person.'
"He said he was drunk and did not dispute there was a fight. He said that he was sorry and in parts of the interview he was crying.
"He denied the use of drugs, but admitted to drinking since the afternoon."
Emphasising the seriousness of the charge the prosecutor told the court: "The shutting of the taxi door on the victim's head could be called use of a weapon, causing cuts that required stitches and the headbutt comes under use of a weapon."
In a victim impact statement Mr. Wendleken said: "I was a lot more apprehensive when I got back in the cab, but I have learned to cope with this even though I feel apprehensive at times."
Dr. Tracey Elliott, a law lecturer at the University of Leicester, who has known the Browning family for many years told the court: "He's a nice young man and the last young man I would expect this to happen to as a result of his actions.
"He is the sort of guy who would be in control of friends who were drunk and incapable and does not have a reputation for violence.
"This has come as great shock and surprise to those that know him."
The court heard Browning has paid privately to see a psychotherapist since the attack and has addressed his drinking.
"This was a nasty offence," bench chairman Mr. John Verdon told the first-time offender. "We don't often see category one actual bodily harm cases like this at the higher end of our sentencing guidelines.
"You have enrolled in counselling, you are of good character and you have made admissions to the police, which has been taken into consideration.
"You are very lucky because it passes the custody threshold."
Browning was sentenced to 240 hours of community service, ordered to pay £725 compensation to Mr. Wendleken of which £650 covers loss of earnings for three days off work, £60 costs and a £60 victim surcharge."