A woman taxi driver robbed at knifepoint told today how she pleaded with the thug: “Please don’t stab me I’m a mother and a grandmother.”
Yob Liam Seeley, aged 19, has been jailed for four years for the robbery on Garland Croft in Westfield, Sheffield, that left the victim with post traumatic stress disorder.
Seeley – was branded disgraceful by a judge – an accomplice with Seeley held a knife to 55-year-old Virginia Halstead’s ribs for less than £50.
The brave victim pleaded ‘please don’t stab me, I’m a mother and grandmother’.
But today Virginia said she feels ‘no venom’ towards the robber. Seeley, of Ochre Dike Close, Waterthorpe, and an accomplice, who has not been found, ordered a taxi around 1.45am on June 16 and asked for it to take them to Rotherham – but planned to rob the driver.
Brave Virginia said: “It was quite a quiet shift, I usually start at 10.30pm and I only had three jobs before the incident happened.
“I picked up a job on Westfield and two men got in, one in the front seat and one behind.
“Nothing seemed amiss at this point and they kept asking me to drive down roads on the estate which I thought nothing of at the time.
“I pulled up on another road the other man pulled his hood over his face, got the knife out and stuck it at my ribs.”
The thug demanded cash saying ‘give me the notes’ and Virginia handed over less than £50.
“I was so scared, I was in complete shock,” she said.
“I said to him ‘please don’t stab me I’m a mother and a grandmother, please just take the money’.”
She added: “Nobody should go to work and get threatened with a knife. I love my job I feel like I was carrying out a service.
“It’s changed me forever, people always say that I’m soft but this has really affected me.
“I struggled with PTSD and I tried to go back to work but I did a couple of jobs then I had to come home.”
Seeley was charged with robbery and was released on bail with conditions he had to be at his home address between 9pm and 7am.
But he broke his bail conditions and Virginia came face to face again with Seeley again.
“I picked up two ladies and went to a petrol station on City Road about 3am,” she said.
“It just seemed like a normal night, as I was sat on the forecourt in my car I notice another taxi pull up beside me.
“To my horror, I saw Seeley get out from the passenger side. I couldn’t believe it, I just felt sick. These two women saw me in a bit of a state, they must have wondered what on earth was going on.”
After breaking his bail conditions, Seeley was remanded in custody until he was sentenced on Tuesday, October 27 to four years in prison.
But Virginia said she does not feel any anger towards him saying ‘life’s too short’.
“I don’t feel anger but I do feel like he’s wasted his young life away.
“His mother was in court and being a mother myself, my heart does go out to her in some respects.”
Virginia, also thanked PC Ryan Griffith.
She said the officer helped her regain her confidence after the ordeal.
It is understood that Mrs Halstead left the minicab firm she was working for as a result of the incident and is now driving for digital car service Uber.