Leeds taxi driver had crossbow pointed at his head

Timothy Whitake
Timothy Whitake
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A TAXI driver described the terrifying moment he had a crossbow pointed at his head as he was robbed after picking up a fare.

Darren Daly, 42, was off work for nearly a year suffering from depression after being subjected to the ordeal by three men who got into his cab pretending to be customers.

One of the attackers, 28-year-old Timothy Whitaker, was jailed for three years and four months yesterday over the incident which took place in the Bramley area of Leeds. After the case Mr Daly, a driver for Stanningley Cars, said: “He is just scum.”

Leeds Crown Court heard two other men have been spoken to in connection with the incident but have not been charged due to a lack of evidence.

Mr Daly was targeted in the early hours of January 19 last year after picking up the men on Wood Grove, Farnley, and driving them onto the Broadlea estate in Bramley.

One of the men on the back seat then pointed the weapon at Mr Daly’s head and demanded cash. The men left with money but Whitaker, of Hesketh Avenue, Kirkstall, was arrested after the call ordering the cab was traced to his mobile phone. He pleaded guilty to robbery

David Ward, prosecuting, said Whitaker had served a 45-month prison sentence in the past for robbing pizza delivery drivers.

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Whitaker had pleaded guilty to the offence on the basis that he was not holding the weapon but accepted he was part of a “joint enterprise.” Mr Parkin said: “This defendant didn’t need the money - but he didn’t distance himself.

Recorder Darren Preston told Whitaker: “There are certain types of people in society who deserve the protection of the courts. Taxi drivers serve the public at all times of the day and night and they are particularly at risk and vulnerable to this type of attack.

After the hearing, Mr Daly told the YEP: “I was off work with depression and anxiety for about ten months. I’m back now, but it has really affected me because you never know who you are going to pick up.

“I went out that day and risked my safety in the snow to pick up three lads and get them to their destination safely and this is what I get. I can’t believe someone could do this.”

“I’ve been told he (Whitaker) has got previous for this. To me he’s just scum.”

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