Drunks robbed taxi driver then had a nap

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A terrified taxi driver was robbed in his cab by two men who he picked up in Whitby - one of whom has been jailed for 15 months.

Lee Brown and Alexander Cameron, both 25, demanded money from the cabbie during the incident in a quiet, unlit lane, York Crown Court heard.

It occurred in the early hours of December 8, shortly after Brown and Cameron – who were intoxicated – had tried to rob a man walking home from work.

They had been thwarted by a passer-by and just hours later rang for the taxi, said prosecutor Rachael Landin.

The pair asked the driver to take them to Ruswarp and stop near a caravan site so they could collect ‘something’.

Brown walked over to the driver’s door, kneed the driver forcing him towards the passenger side and then demanded the cash box while grabbing the keys from the ignition.

He also tried to wrench the car radio from its mount and took the taxi driver’s watch, despite asking if it had any sentimental value.

Police found the pair lying on a grass verge beside the lane, pretending to be asleep, at about 3.15am.

Brown, of Havelock Place, and Cameron, of Church Street, were charged with one count each of robbery and attempted robbery.

They appeared for sentencing on Friday after pleading guilty at a previous hearing.

Recorder Dean Kershaw said Brown’s crimes were more serious due to his lengthy criminal record, which included 61 previous offences for crimes such as violence, theft, burglary, criminal damage and breaching court orders.

The Crown was told Brown, who committed one of his first robberies aged 14, suffered from psychosis due to years of alcohol and drug abuse.

In sentencing Brown to 15 months in prison, Mr Kershaw told him: “I’m struggling to see whether anything the courts do is going to make a difference. It has to be said you are, even at 25, a career criminal.”

Cameron was given an eight month suspended sentence for two years.