Teens jailed over attack on Leeds taxi driver

Luke Banks.
Luke Banks.
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TWO teenagers subjected a taxi driver to a terrifying attack as they robbed him of his takings while high on drink and drugs, a court heard.

Luke Banks and Thomas Crampton, both 19, were each handed jail sentences of more than three years over the attack in the Farnley area of Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pair kicked and punched Amber Cars taxi driver Gary Taylor after ordering a cab in the early hours of the morning on September 9 last year.

Rukhshanda Hussain, prosecuting, said Mr Taylor picked the teenagers up on Bawn Avenue, Farnley, before taking them to an address on Lawns Terrace where they picked up a crate of beer. The pair then asked to return to Bawn Avenue. When they got there Crampton began punching Mr Taylor in the head and chest. Banks opened the driver’s door and began kicking Mr Taylor.

Mr Taylor managed to close the door but Banks smashed the window in order to continue the attack. The pair stole around £40 worth of takings and a sat nav before leaving.

The pair were easily traced as Crompton had used his mobile phone to order the taxi.

Crompton, of Lawns Terrace, Farnley, pleaded guilty to robbery and was sent to a young offenders institution for 40 months. Banks, of Whincover Gardens, Farnley, also admitted burglary and was given a 45 month sentence.

Banks’s lawyer, Ian Cook, said his client was hoping to join the army and would still be able to do so if he was given a sentence below 30 months.

Judge Christopher Batty said it was not possible to impose such a sentence as the offence was too serious.

He said: “Taxi drivers take a risk every time someone gets in their vehicle. They are so vulnerable and they need protection - that is what this court is going to do. I suspect when you first came out of your drug haze and your alcohol haze, you couldn’t believe what you had done. He (the victim) will always remember what you have done and that is why it is so serious.”

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