A racist thug who strangled a taxi driver with his own seat belt before sinking his teeth into his face over a £6.20 fare has been locked up. Jake Evans, 27, who has a history of vio- lence, flew into a rage with the driver after he picked him up following a night of drink- ing. Leeds Crown Court heard that Evans had booked the cab at 11.30pm on 8 September this year with a female companion. When the cab got to Central Drive in Castleford, the woman got out and the driver said the fare was £6.20. Evans threw a handful of change at the driv- er and then launched into a verbal racist attack. He then got out and opened the front passenger door, knelt on the seat and punched the driver in the head, grabbed his hair and punched him to the ribs. Evans then grabbed the driver's seat belt,

which he was still wearing, and wrapped it around the victim's neck strangling him for around 10 seconds. He then turned the driv- er's face away from him and bit his cheek for between 10 and 15 seconds. The driver eventually pushed him away and Evans launched into another verbal tirade telling the driver: "Why did you ask me for money? I'm going to find you and I

will kill you." The taxi driver was so terrified that he then drove away with the door of his taxi still open. Evans was found by police officers nearby a short time later, still drunk and covered in the driver's blood. The court heard that Evans, from Norman- ton, has 12 previews convictions, including several for violence including wounding and battery. He was on a suspended sentence for pos- session of a hunting knife in public when he carried out his latest attack. Evans pleaded guilty to racially-aggravated wounding and making off without payment. Judge Geoffrey Marson QC jailed him for three years and said: "It's wholly unaccept- able to attack a taxi driver who was doing nothing more than trying to earn a decent, honest living."


Two Chester men who threatened to rob a taxi driver by holding a knife to his stomach after not paying their £17 fare have been jailed. The Chester Standard reports that Michael Creevy, 46 and Philip Corbett, 45, had both pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and making off without payment. Chester Crown Court heard that it was about 1.35am on August 27 when the taxi driver, self-employed with KingKabs, was called to go to Norman Way, Blacon, where both defendants lived. He picked them up and then brought them back home again after they met up with up some men in a car park. The driver informed them that the fare was £17.35 and was told by the defendants they had the money in their house and went inside. After five minutes of waiting, the taxi driver got out of his car and tried contacting the defendants using the phone number they had used to arrange the taxi journey. After getting no answer, the taxi driver returned to his car when he saw the two defendants going towards his taxi. He chal- lenged the pair to pay the money when one of them grabbed him from behind and restrained him, while the other produced what looked like a kitchen knife about seven or eight inches, and held it to the taxi driv-


er's stomach, threatening to rob him. The taxi driver was able to break free and ran off, pursued for a short distance by one of the two defendants. He managed to press an emergency button in the taxi and explained what had happened to KingKabs, and police were called. At 2.35am police forced entry into the Nor- man Way house and arrested Creevy and Corbett, while noting there was drugs para- phernalia in the house. A victim impact statement from the taxi driver said he now avoided fares to and from Blacon as a result of the incident, and he and his wife were anxious about him driving at night. He had previously always felt safe, but had struggled to sleep and had

not told all his family about what had hap- pened. The court heard Creevy had 35 convictions for 95 offences, beginning in 1988 and the majority involving theft and dishonesty. He had been jailed at Liverpool Crown Court in 1997 for 21 months for burglary. Corbett had six convictions for nine offences, including for shoplifting and drugs possession. There had been a near 20-year gap in his offending. Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett stated what had happened was a "nasty and mean offence". He said: "The taxi driver took you to a place, no doubt to get drugs. I suspect neither of you had any money. He tried to get the money and, I am prepared to accept on the spur of the moment, you tried to rob him. "One of you had a knife – it does not matter which – one of you held him and threatened him with the knife to the stomach. A truly frightening incident. The victim impact statement shows a decent man, working hard, totally affected by this. "Hopefully time will change and make it eas- ier for him. I note he shows considerable courage to carry on working." Creevy was jailed for 57 months, while Cor- bett was jailed for 48 months. The knife was forfeited.


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