Teenage thug locked up for stabbing taxi driver

Portsmouth Crown Court
Portsmouth Crown Court
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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The 17-year-old from the area was sent to a young offenders’ institute for four years for wounding with intent after stabbing a taxi driver in the early hours of September 2 in Albert Road, Southsea.

The 42-year-old taxi driver was sent to hospital after suffering a one centimetre-deep wound at the time of the incident, about which there are conflicting accounts.

At Portsmouth Crown Court the prosecution said the taxi driver stopped as two young people were in the middle of the road.

Prosecutor James Kellam said: ‘The defendant opened the passenger door, got in and produced a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper arm.’

The defendant was 16 at the time of the crime.

Mr Kellam read the victim’s impact statement to the court which described the after-effects of the ordeal:

‘I am scared and afraid of a similar incident happening again,’ it said.

Mr Kellam added: ‘The taxi driver has stopped working in the early hours and had to have four days off work which meant a loss of £500 or £600 in income.’

The defendant, who for legal reasons cannot be identified, previously stated the taxi driver had driven at him and the 42-year-old had confronted the teenager before the stabbing.

Kelly Brocklehurst, defending, said: ‘He is somebody who lacks maturity and he is influenced by his peers.

‘The defendant said this is not the sort of behaviour that is typical of him.

‘He said “in all the things I have done this is a step change”.’

The court heard the injury to the taxi driver required stitches and several hours in hospital.

Ms Brocklehurst added: ‘He is well aware that it was more by luck than judgment that the wound was only 1cm deep.

‘He felt more than ever he had lost control of himself.’

The teenager has 77 previous convictions including breaches of an anti-social behaviour order and battery.

During sentencing Judge Melville QC said: ‘I consider this to be a very serious offence. You had a knife with you and you stabbed an entirely innocent taxi driver as he was driving around Portsmouth. You stabbed an entirely innocent person who then had to go to hospital.

‘The effect on the victim has been substantial.’

Judge Melville commented on the defendant’s list of previous convictions.

He said: ‘Your history is a worrying one.’