POLICE are hunting a taxi driver who attacked and robbed a woman passenger and left her on a deserted road at night after a row over her fare.
The 32-year-old woman had got into the white taxi with a friend in Queen Street, Huddersfield, after a night out in the town centre.
The friend was dropped off at Netherton and the woman stayed in the taxi to travel to her home at Slaithwaite.
But before reaching her home, she asked the driver to stop at the house of another friend in Slaithwaite because she wanted to call on her.
However, the driver locked the doors, apparently because he thought she would make off without paying her fare.
He refused to let her out and set off, saying he was taking her to the police station. Instead, he stopped at Blackmoorfoot Road, Crosland Hill.
Police say the woman claimed the driver dragged her out of the car by her handbag, kicked her to the ground and hit her about the head before taking between £15 and £20 from her purse and driving off.
The woman stopped a passing car and she was taken to Huddersfield Police Station.
She was left with bruises and scratches to her legs, but was not badly hurt.
The driver was described as an Asian man, aged 30 to 40, about 5ft 6in tall and of medium build.
Police have appealed for witnesses who may have seen the taxi in Slaithwaite or at Crosland Hill between 2.30am and 3.30am on Sunday.
Det Con Russ Conlon, of Huddersfield Police, said: "This woman is very distraught over the incident.
"Not only was she attacked and had her money taken, she was left alone in the middle of nowhere."
A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council, which is responsible for taxi licensing, said: "The police have made us aware of this nasty attack and we will do everything we can to help track down the culprit.
"We would ask that anyone with any information should get in touch with the police immediately.
"We would like to reassure the travelling public that this was an isolated incident."
Contact Pc Sally Carter on 01484 436745 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.