A robber who held a knife to a taxi driver’s face outside his own house was condemned for his stupidity as he was jailed for four years.
Jamie O’Neill called the taxi to his Walsall address at around 3am, sat down in the passenger’s seat and demanded the driver’s money.
After a scuffle the driver escaped and ran off, while O’Neill walked about into his own house and was promptly arrested soon after.
The robbery was labelled as ‘bizarre’ by the judge who sentenced O’Neill.
It happened on August 16 earlier this year and the taxi driver of 14 years, a Mr Ahmed, was robbed of his phone worth £240.
Prosecutor Miss Joanne Barker told Wolverhampton Crown Court that O’Neill, aged 27 and of Holden Crescent in Coalpool, called the taxi from his own phone and to his own address.
She added: “The defendant got in without saying anything and leant forward. In his left hand he had a knife – he placed the knife under the driver’s chin and said ‘give me all of your money’.
Mr Ahmed then managed to strike O’Neill with his elbow and in the process the knife broke in two.
A scuffle followed in which O’Neill punched Mr Ahmed in the arm, before the taxi driver got out of the car and ran off.
Miss Barker added: “He watched the defendant go back into the same address.”
The taxi firm contacted police who soon arrested O’Neill and recovered the driver’s phone.
Mr Nigel Ford, defending O’Neill, who pleaded guilty to robbery, admitted his client’s actions ‘defied all logic’.
He added: “He’s a very distinctive young man and on the level of stupidity it’s right up there. He was always going to be immediately apprehended by the police. The potential gains were limited. Mr O’Neill fully appreciates the position he’s placed himself in.
“This must have been a very frightening incident for Mr Ahmed.”
In sentencing O’Neill to four years in custody, Judge Robin Onions cited the robber’s previous convictions for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and arson.
He yesterday told O’Neill: “Only you will know what was going through your mind.
“In some ways it’s a bizarre robbery as you called the taxi to your own home.
“It was clearly a pre-planned offence and a terrifying incident for the taxi driver. The victim was vulnerable. Taxi drivers have to be protected. Every so often they have to put up with people like you.”