South Yorkshire thug lured taxi driver into trap

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A VIOLENT thug has been locked up after tricking a taxi driver into heading down a dead end - then punching him repeatedly in the face and stealing his takings.

Christopher Herbert, aged 26, was swigging alcohol as he asked driver Mohammed Hussain to turn into a dead end street.

Then, when the car came to a stop, Herbert pointed what he claimed was a gun and demanded Mr Hussain hand over his money.

The cabbie refused, and told Herbert to show him the nonexistent weapon.

Instead Herbert got out of the taxi, walked to driver’s side, opened the door and punched Mr Hussain again and again in the face.

He then grabbed the driver’s mobile phone and £60 in cash before snapping the car key in the ignition, leaving Mr Hussain stranded.

Prosecutor Brian Outhwaite told Sheffield Crown Court Mr Hussain has been left afraid to go back to work for fear he may be attacked again.

The terrifying incident took place at around 9.30pm on November 7 last year - less than a fortnight after Herbert committed another assault.

On October 25 last year he pushed victim Stacey Patton, and waved a knife at her following a dispute.

And around a week after his attack on the taxi driver, Herbert threatened Gary Lawton with a jagged blade during another unprovoked attack, which left the victim with minor injuries on November 16.

Dermot Hughes, defending, told the court: “He has shown deep and genuine remorse for his actions.

“The defendant has been struggling to come to terms with the fact he will be getting a long custodial sentence.

“He has already had some problems with inmates while on remand in custody.

“He has learned from this and he will never offend again at all.”

Judge Simon Lawler told Herbert: “You have spent time in custody before but this will be your first significant sentence.

“The attack on a taxi driver is the most troubling of all three offences.”

Herbert, of Marlowe Drive in Herringthorpe, Rotherham, was sentenced to three years and nine months after admitting robbery and two counts of assault causing grievous bodily harm.