A callous cabbie kept the meter running as a young woman gave birth in the back of his car – and then demanded a £40 ‘soiling fee’.
Furious Melissa Crosdale, 22, called a cab when she went into labour in the early hours of Thursday morning but her waters broke four miles from hospital.
The taxi driver pulled over outside her dad’s house, but Melissa gave birth to a baby girl in the back of the black cab as he waited – with the meter still running.
As the exhausted mum left the cab he demanded an inflated fare of 14 – usually £3.60 – as well as a £40 soiling fee for the ‘mess’ left in his cab.
He demanded the money from her father and after a heated argument, the driver was paid £54 for the ten-minute drive.
Despite the ordeal, Melissa’s baby girl, Rowena, was born fit and healthy, weighing 6lb 8oz.
But the angry young mum has hit out at the mean taxi driver for refusing to help – and charging her for giving birth.
She said: ”My baby was still attached to the umbilical cord and he just sat there watching the meter go up.
”On the way from my house, the driver was really taking his time. It was very annoying – he could see I was in a lot of pain.
”I was on my hands and knees pushing and in no time at all the baby was there.
”He didn’t even offer to help. It’s disgusting the way I was treated.
”My dad was saying, ‘Can’t you come back later and collect the money then? She’s just given birth for goodness sake!’
”He was saying, ‘No, I want it now.’
”I was appalled by the taxi driver. We couldn’t believe what we were hearing.”
Melissa, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, began having contractions at her sister’s house at 1.30am on Thursday morning.
The young mother rang Central Taxis to take her to University Hospital in Coventry with her sister and her three-year-old son Ewen Crosdale.
A black cab arrived at 2am but her waters broke inside the cab, still four miles from hospital.
Melissa asked the driver to pull over outside her dad’s house where they had planned to drop off her three-year-old son before continuing on to hospital.
But in a matter of minutes her baby was born in the back of the cab as it waited on the side of the street – just ten minutes after they had set off.
Paramedics arrived at the scene 15 minutes later and took Melissa and her newborn baby girl to University Hospital.
Melissa added: ”At first I couldn’t stop laughing to myself because of the situation: I kept saying to myself ‘I’ve just given birth in a taxi’ – it was very surreal.
”I remembered reading about a woman who gave birth on a bus and thinking ‘imagine if that happened to you’.
”But then I started to get angry with the taxi driver. I felt really exposed but he just sat there watching his meter.”
”I couldn’t believe it – it happened so quickly. Contractions only began 40 minutes before – I was in labour with my son for five days.
Central Taxis said they are trying to contact the taxi driver and will foot the bill ”as a gesture of good will”.