A ROBBER who grabbed a taxi driver around the neck and held a knife to his throat has been jailed for three years.
A court heard the victim was terrified during the attack by Jabar Ali as he believed his throat had been slashed.
Leeds Crown Court heard Ali, 40, attacked the driver after the taxi was sent to collect him on Dewsbury High Street at 11pm January 11 this year.
Ali got in the back seat and directed the driver to Mirfield but told him to stop at a factory on the way.
Ali then told the driver to stop on Thornhill Road. He reached over and put one hand over the driver’s eyes and held a weapon against his throat.
Duncan Ritchie, prosecuting, said the victim believed it was a kitchen knife and tried to push it away.
He suffered a cut to his finger which began bleeding but thought that his throat had been cut.
During the attack Ali told the driver: “Give me your money or I will cut your throat.”
He handed over £70 before Ali got out and ran off.
The driver then dialled 999 thinking he was seriously injured. An ambulance and police were called to the scene but he did not require hospital treatment
Ali, a textile factory worker, handed himself in at a police station the next day as he felt guilty and ashamed of what he had done.
He admitted responsibility for the attack and said it was a “cry for help” because of his addiction to heroin. Ali, of Ravens Avenue, Dewsbury, pleaded guilty to robbery.
Franklin Zakers, mitigating, said: “It is clear that he was desperate and in some ways this was a rather ridiculous way of crying out for help. He was in a very dark place.”
Mr Zakers said the married father-of-two had been using around £40 worth of the class A drug a day and was struggling to cope.
Mr Zakers added: “He throws himself at the mercy of this court. He is desperate to get back to his family.”