Jailed for stabbing cabbie (71)

Hamilton Sheriff Court heard taxi driver Patrick Mullen was stabbed as he tried to drive away from passenger Alan Richardson who was looking for money to buy drugs.
Hamilton Sheriff Court heard taxi driver Patrick Mullen was stabbed as he tried to drive away from passenger Alan Richardson who was looking for money to buy drugs.

A 71-year-old taxi driver was injured after a passenger tried to rob him at knifepoint and threatened to kill him.

Brave Patrick Mullen refused drug addict Alan Richardson’s demands and suffered a cut to his hand as he attempted to drive off.

When quizzed by police, Richardson denied any involvement, but was forced to come clean when an audio recording of the incident was played to him.

Richardson (22), a prisoner, was jailed for 19 months at Hamilton Sheriff Court after he admitted assaulting Mr Mullen to his injury and permanent disfigurement with intent to rob.

It happened in Clarendon Road, Netherton, on September 16 and Richardson was on two separate bail orders at the time.

He admitted striking the elderly cabbie on the neck with the knife, holding it against his throat, striking him on the hand with the blade and threatening to kill him.

Paula Russell, prosecuting, said Mr Mullen had picked up Richardson and another man about 1.30am. Both passengers were described as extremely drunk.

When they reached their destination Richardson got out and went to the driver’s side. Mr Mullen rolled down his window then felt a “jag” on his neck.

Ms Russell told the court: “Richardson twice told the driver to give him money or he would kill him. Mr Mullen put the car in gear and was just taking off when he noticed Richardson had a knife which cut his right thumb.”

The driver radioed for help and was taken to Wishaw General where the wound was glued and dressed.

Ms Russell said the audio recording was handed over to police. In it a man could be heard saying ‘Give me all your money or you’ll die’.

She added: “Richardson was traced and asked to account for his movements. He denied involvement but the recording was played and he admitted it was his voice.”

He told police he had been desperate for cash, adding: “That old boy did not deserve it.”

A defence agent said Richardson, who has previous convictions, had been using valium and wanted money to buy more.

The lawyer added: “He says his intention was to frighten the driver and he did not hurt him deliberately. The injury came about as the gentleman tried to drive away.”