A robber has been jailed for attacking a taxi driver who insisted on him paying a £10 fare to Wakefield up front.
Ismail Dadhiwala was left lying in the middle of a Dewsbury road with injuries to his face, head and arms after being assaulted by Ben Lawson, and his companion Ryan Gledhill.
Leeds Crown Court heard how the men, both 26, were picked up in the early hours of the morning of November 5 last year on Princess Lane in Earlsheaton.
Having asked how much it would cost to take them to Wakefield, Mr Dadhiwala replied it would be “Between £10 and £11” and asked for the money up front.
However, one of the passengers responded: “Just drive on, we’ll give you the money when we get there.”
Mr Dadhiwala did briefly drive on but soon pulled up and asked for the money again. One of the passengers then instructed him to drive to Sykes Lane in Dewsbury, where “his girlfriend would pay for it”, but when the driver stopped again he said, “You are going to take us to Wakefield.”
When Mr Dadhiwala suggested that he was being threatened, the rear seat passenger grabbed him by the neck and demanded he give them money.
When the driver sounded his horn in a bid to alert passers by to his predicament, the passenger got out of the car, opened the driver’s door and tried to drag him out, while the front seat passenger punched him in the face.
The court was told that “The next thing the victim knew he was lying in the middle of the road.”
The two men, who made off with £150 worth of cash, bank cards and cigarettes, were apprehended at a Dewsbury address a few hours later and arrested.
It was said that Lawson, of Haselden Road in Wakefield, had appeared in court on 16 previous occasions and had been given a seven year sentence for a similar offence in 2010.
Sentencing him to three years and eight months in prison, Recorder of Leeds Judge Peter Collier QC, said: “This robbery I accept was not prepared, but developed as you asked for money. The result was you stole money from him and he was subjected to this very unpleasant attack. Courts must do what they can to protect people serving in the way that he does.”
Gledhill had previously been given the same sentence for his part in the attack.