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Men jailed For Kidnapping Taxi Driver
A man who pointed a gun at two police officers who came to the aid of a taxi driver who had been robbed and kidnapped, has been jailed for eight years.
Jamie Scott, 24, of Chaucer Way, London, SW19, received eight years in prison at Luton Crown Court yesterday. His accomplice Jordan James, 20, of No Fixed Abode, was jailed for six years when he was sentenced on April 26.
The breakdown of Scott’s sentence meant that he received 12 months for carrying the imitation firearm and then two years for pointing it at the officers.
The incident took place on November 16 when the two called a taxi to pick them up from Hillgrounds Road in Kempston and drive to Luton.
However, once they got in, the pair made an excuse about not having enough money and directed the driver to Hastings Road so they could pick up some cash from a friend. Once he pulled up, James grabbed the 29 year old driver from behind and held a knife across his neck.
They took the driver’s wallet, money and phone and threatened to shoot him if he did not take them to Luton. He was forced to stop at the garage at Hitchin Road, Luton and withdraw £300 from his own bank account, all the time with the gun being pointed at him.
Eventually, the driver was so frightened that when he saw two police officers on routine patrol further down Hitchin Road, he jumped from the moving cab and ran across the road shouting for help.
Scott and James ran away, pursued on foot by the two male officers. Scott turned to face one of the police officers, and pointing the gun straight at him, threatened to shoot him if he did not stop chasing him. Not to be deterred, the officer pulled his baton and shouted back. When Scott ran off again, the officer managed to catch him and after arrest found a knife in his pocket. The gun eventually turned out to be an imitation handgun.
Meanwhile, the other officer chased James and managed to catch him despite having a ten inch kitchen knife hurled towards him as the robber ran off.
Both James and Scott pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery, possession of a knife, possession of imitation firearm with intent to commit an offence and kidnapping the taxi driver. In addition, Scott pleaded to possession of imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.
“Taxi drivers offer an important service to the community and the victim of this crime was just trying to do his job when he was confronted by two men who he believed were going to kill him. He was absolutely terrified and is still shaken even now, which is not surprising since he was forced to drive nearly 20 miles constantly being told he would be shot if he didn’t comply,” said Det Con Dave Brecknock.
“Scott and James both have long histories of violent offending so I’m delighted they have both now received lengthy sentences. The gun might have been only an imitation but neither the taxi driver, or the officer who came face to face with it knew that at the time and the knives were certainly real enough.
“This sentence highlights just how seriously Bedfordshire Police and the judiciary take gun crime. While the actual threat caused by gun crime is small and does not affect the vast majority of law abiding people within Bedfordshire, we are not complacent about the dangers posed by these weapons and would therefore urge anyone who has information about those people who carry or have access to illegal weapons to have the courage to come forward and speak to the police.”
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