Knife-threat taxi passenger jailed

Crime story

Crime story

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A DRUNKEN passenger who tried to rob a Wigan taxi driver while pretending he was armed with a knife was put behind bars.

A court heard that Keiron Wood had not been armed and the driver was not physically injured but he had been left psychologically affected by his ordeal.

“As a consequence, at least temporarily, he gave up working at night because he did not feel safe and has inevitably suffered financially,” said Judge Andrew Menary, QC.

He sentenced 26-year-old Wood, of Housley Close, Worsley Mesnes, to 31 months’ imprisonment.

Rebecca Smith, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that in the early hours of July 13 this year private hire driver Sarkander Habib picked up Wood from the Squirrel public house in Ince.

When they got to his destination in Platt Bridge Wood, who was drunk, said he did not have the £6.40 fare.

The driver, realising he was not going to get paid, told him to leave but Wood refused to do so and threatened that he had a knife.

He pushed something into Mr Habib’s side pretending it was a knife so that he would frightened into handing over his cash.

He also grabbed his arm and pulled it back behind his seat.

The driver refused to do so and Wood left the scene empty handed, said Ms Smith.

Wood, who has previous convictions for violence, was arrested after being identified from CCTV footage.

Tony Rose, defending, said that Wood, who pleaded guilty to attempted robbery, had a drink problem and had been very drunk that night because his partner had left him.

“It was clearly a very frightening incident but he did not persist with it,” he said.

It was inexplicable why he did it as although he did not have money on him he had intended to stop at a cash point so he could pay the fare, he added.