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A court in the west Siberian city of Novosibirsk has sentenced
A court in the west Siberian city of Novosibirsk has sentenced a taxi driver to nine years in prison for beating to death a man who accidentally scratched his car, a court spokesman said on Friday.

In late May 2007, 30-year-old taxi driver Alexander Tarasov attacked 50 year-old Stepan Golubnichiy after the latter refused to pay him 3,000 rubles ($126) in compensation for slightly scratching his Mazda. The incident occurred as Golubnichiy was getting out of his own vehicle with his 10-year-old son.

Golubnichiy died in hospital four days later of head injuries sustained during the assault.

Tarasov, who beat Golubnichiy with a baseball bat in full view of his son and a number of other witnesses, pleaded not guilty in court. He has undergone two psychiatric examinations - both ruled he was fit to stand trial.

He was also ordered to pay 300,000 rubles ($12,600) in compensation to the victim's family.


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