Man threatened to ‘smash’ Norwich taxi driver’s face in after row over fare

PUBLISHED: 06:28 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 19:45 18 July 2018

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture Adrian Judd.

copyright of Archant © 2010 01603 772434

A man who threatened to “smash” a taxi driver’s face in if he did not hand over the keys after being charged a £12 fare has been jailed.

Leon Honour, 33, got into the taxi at Norwich railway station after having earlier been drinking heavily in Great Yarmouth.

But he later became “aggressive” after being asked for £12 on reaching the destination.

Norwich Crown Court heard Honour started shouting he was going to “boot through the door of the taxi”.

Danielle O’ Donovan, prosecuting, said Honour had then managed to get out and round to the front of the taxi when he told the driver: “Give me the keys or I will smash your face in.”

The court heard there was a struggle for the keys between Honour and the driver during which the victim’s hand was injured.

Ms O’Donovan said the driver managed to “put his foot down” and “get away” before calling 999 a short while later.

A victim impact statement described how the driver suffered from psychological problems following the incident which happened at about 12.30am on January 16 this year.

Honour appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday when he admitted attempted robbery.

Sentencing Honour to 16 months in prison, Judge Stephen Holt said the defendant, who had 39 previous convictions for 99 offences, including a street robbery, was at risk of becoming a “dangerous offender”.

Judge Holt said Honour had been “drinking heavily” on the day and stated that his drinking was a huge problem when it came to his offending.

He said: “I’m quite sure when you’re sober you’re a perfectly decent man but when you get drunk you become violent.”

Andrew Oliver, mitigating for Honour, said he had issues with alcohol which went back many years and started with domestic abuse he had seen at home.

Honour, whose address held by the court was Shieldfield, Newcastle, had been out drinking before getting into the taxi when the incident occurred.

Mr Oliver said Honour, whose mother died while he was serving a previous prison sentence, had to learn to control his drinking and his behaviour. But he said his client had sought help for his problems while in prison.

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