Pair stole cash from taxi driver

TWO men who threatened and robbed a taxi driver while subject to a suspended sentence have been sent to prison.

Monday, 9th August 2010, 4:18 pm

James Hirst, 25, of George Street, Brighouse, and Gareth Matthews, 24, of Ovenden Way, Ovenden, Halifax, were given 32-month custodial sentences for stealing around £45 from an A-Star Taxis driver on August 5 last year.

Bradford Crown Court heard how the two men ordered a taxi from the Halifax firm and told the driver, Mr Akhtar, to take them to Southowram.

Matthews sat in the front seat and Hirst was in the rear. Hirst grabbed Mr Akhtar round the neck and threatened him while Matthews went round to the driver’s window, reached in and grabbed the cash bag from inside the car. Both men admitted robbery.

Recorder Dean Kershaw said: “A combination of alcohol and the two of you together is a recipe for disaster which comes out of the oven as a custodial sentence.

“There are positive sides of both of you but these are outweighed by the menace you become when you have had alcohol.”

The pair had previously received 26-week suspended sentences after being found guilty of attacking the boyfriend of Matthews’ mother while drunk outside the Liquid nightclub in Halifax.

The suspended sentences will run consecutively and both men received a total sentence of 38 months in custody.