A taxi driver suffered facial injuries after being attacked by two passengers in a car park, a court heard.
Joshua Roe and Samuel Wardell both received suspended detention sentences after admitting causing actual bodily harm.
Leicester Crown Court was told the pair were the worse for drink, having been out celebrating Roe’s 18th birthday, on August 6, 2011.
Jonathan Dunne, prosecuting, said the defendants got into a taxi in Loughborough, at 3.45am, and paid £35 up front for a fare to Ashby.
He said: “On arrival, they directed him to a dark car park at the back of a leisure centre. They asked him to drive into a isolated corner, but he became suspicious and stopped the vehicle in the middle of the car park, covered by CCTV cameras.”
The pair got out and Roe went round and punched the driver to the right side of his face. Wardell joined in.
Mr Dunne said: “The driver was punched several times to the head. Roe took from the driver’s door pocket a number of items, including a Bengali prayer book, taxi cards and a phone charger – later found discarded nearby.”
The defendants, now both 19, left the victim with a bruised face and chest, grazing, a black eye and a large cut behind his right ear, which needed stitches.
Roe, of Beech Way, Ibstock, and Wardell, of Rempstone Road, Griffydam, were both given eight-month detention sentences, suspended for 12 months.
Roe, who also admitted theft, was given a concurrent four-month detention sentence, suspended for a year, with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert said: “This was an assault at night on a taxi driver, a vulnerable member of the community doing a useful job.
“Although it crosses the custody threshold by a country mile, I have to also look at your personal circumstances. I’m satisfied there’s a lot that is good, that has been said and written, about you.”
Mark Knowles, for Roe, said: “It was an aberration on his part. He won’t be the first or the last to have too much to drink on his birthday. He has learned his lesson and regrets the consequences.”
Daniel Bishop, for Wardell, said: “He has stayed out of any trouble since this matter. What happened was out of character.”