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14 November 2014, 15:28
A 27-year-old man has been jailed for 10 years for stabbing a taxi driver outside Southampton railway station.
Nicholas Jeffrey, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Southampton Crown Court on Friday, 14 November, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to committing grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent and possession of a bladed article.
The court heard how the 41-year-old taxi driver, from Southampton, collected Jeffrey at the cab rank on Above Bar Street, late on Tuesday, 19 August, before driving him to the railway station.
Detective Sergeant Sarah White said:
"As the taxi arrived at the station, just before 11.30pm, Jeffrey - sitting in the front passenger seat - told the driver he didn't intend to pay the £5 fare.
"The driver asked him to get out of the car, at which point Jeffrey pulled out a nine-inch knife and began lunging towards him. The driver attempted to defend himself by kicking out and sounded his car horn to attract the attention of the other taxi drivers at the rank."
"Jeffrey ran from the scene, but was arrested minutes later by officers from BTP and Hampshire Constabulary. Members of the public had given chase and restrained him."
The bloodied knife was recovered by forensic officers by the front passenger door of the taxi. Jeffrey was interviewed by BTP detectives and charged the next day with GBH.
DS White added:
"The victim suffered nasty slash wounds to his leg and ankle, and needed stitches to a wound on his calf. He couldn't drive again for several weeks, resulting in almost a month's lost earnings.
"This was a completely unprovoked attack on a man who was simply trying to do his job. Today's sentence sends a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated.
"I would like to thank the brave members of the public who put themselves in danger to detain Jeffrey and who provide first aid to the victim. Their actions were utterly selfless and allowed us to swiftly bring Jeffrey to justice before the courts."