TWO men who carried out a terrifying early morning knifepoint robbery of a taxi driver in Carlisle have been jailed for a total of almost eight years.
The city’s crown court heard how their victim went to pick up a fare in darkness at Alexander Street at 5-30am on December 11.
Lexi Elliott and James Thompson – both aged 23 – got in with jacket hoods pulled tight around their faces. They asked to be taken to a B&M Bargains store, on Wigton Road, where Thompson – high on alcohol and cocaine – got out and brandished a Stanley knife with the blade concealed, forcing the frightened driver to flee.
His Skoda vehicle was driven off and found several hours later in the Dalston area, “totally destroyed” by fire.
In a deeply moving victim impact statement read to court today (WED), the driver spoke of being “fragile” and “already at the brink” following the death of his wife two years previously. On his mobile phone – taken in the robbery but never recovered – were “the last years I had with my wife”.
“Being robbed at knifepoint tipped me over the edge,” stated the taxi driver.
Of the missing phone, he added: “They have taken a significant part of my life away from me.”
Elliott and Thompson, both of Highfield Avenue, Carlisle, were jailed for 49 months and 41 months, respectively. They had admitted robbery and arson, with Thompson also admitting illegal knife possession.
Passing sentence, Judge James Adkin told the pair: “It just goes to show the fact that those who commit offences of knifepoint robbery can never know exactly the condition of their victims.” He added: “You both are responsible for the lingering upset and pain that the loss of that telephone has caused.”
Detective Constable Andrew Metcalf said: “I am pleased that both have been brought before the courts within months of the offence.
“This was a pre-meditated attack on a person who serves the public and taken their means of income.
“Today’s sentencing shows how seriously both the police and the courts take such attacks and that they will not be tolerated.”