A THUG who attacked a taxi driver with a fire extinguisher and robbed him during a row over a £3.80 fare has been jailed.
Dean Kitson, 28, was with his partner and 16-month old baby when he targeted the driver outside flats in the Halton area of Leeds.
Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said the incident happened in the early hours of October 24 this year after Kitson ordered a taxi for his family from York Road to Dunhill Rise.
Mr Nassiri said Kitson used his own mobile phone to ring the Wheels taxi firm and booked it under his own name.
They were picked up by the driver around 1am and taken the short distance. Kitson then got out of the car to remove the baby’s buggy. He also removed a fire extinguisher which belonged to the taxi driver.
Kitson then went into a block of flats with his partner and child but returned moments later as the driver was on the phone about to accept another booking.
The prosecutor said Kitson then asked the driver how much his partner had paid him. He then disputed the cost of the £3.80 despite the driver telling him the cab ran on a meter.
Kitson then produced the fire extinguisher and sprayed the driver in the face with it. The driver was unable to breathe and was gasping for breath as he got out of the vehicle.
His mobile phone fell out of his pocket and Kitson picked it up. He then reached into the car and took the sat nav system before going back into the flats.
Police were contacted and Kitson, of Borrowdale Crescent, Leeds, was arrested.
He pleaded guilty to robbery. Kitson has 24 previous convictions, including one for robbery.
Tony Kellbrick, mitigating, said Kitson had taken mixed prescription drugs with alcohol at the time and could not recall much of the incident.
Kitson was jailed for two years and eight months.
Recorder Edward Bindloss said: “The victim was a taxi driver. The courts have to protect people from behaviour of this kind.”