AN IRATE husband punched a taxi driver so hard in the face it left an “atomic” hole in his cheek.

Shane Darbon was called by his wife, who has terminal cancer, complaining that she had been assaulted by the driver outside Melksham hospital on October 10.

Cabbie Adam Bujak had dropped off an elderly couple immediately outside the hospital entrance. As he helped the couple from the car he noticed another vehicle near his taxi that looked like it was about to pull away.

Prosecuting, Hannah Squire said: “He was initially concerned his car was going to be reversed into because he wasn’t sure she (the driver) had seen him.

“He called to her and said, ‘watch out for my car’.”

The woman was said not to have taken kindly to the request and began arguing with the driver.

She reached into his cab in an attempt to get his hackney carriage registration details. Thinking she was trying to steal his fare’s purse, the driver pulled her back by the hair prompting her to start kicking him.

It was at that point she called her husband of three years, Shane Darbon. Arriving within minutes, Darbon was said to have asked the driver “what the f*** is going on?” before punching him once in the face.

The force of the punch against Mr Bujak’s teeth resulted in a small hole being left in his cheek. Medics at the Royal United Hospital in Bath used 21 stitches to seal the cut.

In a victim personal statement, Mr Bujak said of his bloodied cheek: “It looked like an atomic bomb had exploded.”

Darbon, 28, of Littlejohn Avenue, Melksham, pleaded guilty to GBH.

Susan Cavender, defending, said that at the time of the incident his client had recently been put on notice at the tyre factory where he worked. His wife, with whom he has two children, was receiving treatment for cervical cancer that has since spread to her lungs.

She added that Darbon was extremely remorseful: “He wishes he could wind back time.”

Judge Jason Taylor described the incident as an almost a perfect storm of emotions, where people misread what others were doing.

“Rather than diffusing the situation you waded in with your fist and punched him hard to the face. That punch caused an unusual injury in his right cheek because a hole was left,” he said.

Darbon was sentenced to an 18-month community order with a requirement to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and up to 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days. He must pay £2,500 compensation and £500 costs.

Judge Taylor said: “This was a single blow, you are genuinely remorseful and this was an isolated incident arising out of peculiar circumstances.

“I hope you never come back before the courts again.”