Taxi driver punched in the face by robbers five times - for £20

A taxi driver was robbed of £20 on Rose Lane in Norwich, a court heard Photo: Google Streetview

A taxi driver was robbed of £20 on Rose Lane in Norwich, a court heard Photo: Google Streetview - Credit: Archant

A couple repeatedly hit a taxi driver in the face and robbed him of £20 after getting him to drive them into Norwich, a court heard.

Toni Mackay, 35, and Jacob Allen, 28, got a taxi to pick them up from their home, in Coltishall, but when they reached their destination near Rose Lane, the pair robbed the driver, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said Allen pretended he wanted change but when the driver produced a £20 note the couple hit him in the face and grabbed the cash, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Martin Ivory, prosecuting, said the driver described being hit by both Mackay and Allen about five times before they made off with the cash.

Mr Ivory said: "He was repeatedly punched about the face by both defendants reaching through the window of the vehicle."

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He added: "The £20 was snatched away from him. They took the money and then made off."

Mr Ivory said the pair were later arrested and said the driver did not want to make any impact statement about the robbery.

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However he said after the incident he had not been able to carry on working that day, which would have meant a loss of earnings.

"He was not in a state to continue working so would have lost out financially."

Mackay and Allen, both of High Street, Coltishall, admitted robbery on September 30.

Mackay also admitted three thefts from shops.

Jailing the pair for 12 months, Judge David Goodin said the courts had to protect people like taxi drivers from attacks of this kind.

"Your chosen victim was a taxi driver whose work brings him into daily contact with the public. They have to deal with members of the public in all sorts of conditions, sometimes in difficult circumstances."

He added that workers like taxi drivers and bus and train drivers needed to be protected.

He said the robbery crossed the sentencing threshold for custody.

David Stewart, for Mackay and Allen, said they both deserved full credit for their guilty plea.

He said drugs lay behind their offending but said Allen came from a supportive family and on their release they were hoping to return to live in Coltishall.

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