Two young men who robbed taxi drivers in Bedford and Flitwick in a 48 hour period were ordered to be locked up today Monday, October 18, 2021.
On both occasions the pair were in the taxis when the drivers were directed to quiet areas late at night where the robberies took place.
The pair, Tyrese Abbas and Ryan Edwards, pleaded guilty at Luton Crown Court to the two robberies which took place on October 7 and 8, 2019.
Edwards alone admitted two matters of supplying Class A drugs in Rushden in Northants a year earlier in 2018.
Abbas, who was just 18 at the time, was sentenced to 37 months Youth detention, less the 318 days he had spent on a qualifying curfew waiting for his case to get to court.
His co-defendant Edwards, who was 21 at the time, was sentenced to a total of seven years.
He was also in breach by his offending of a suspended four month prison sentence for having an article with a blade or point.
Prosecutor Sebastian Walker told how the pair were part of a group of four young men all wearing hoodies who jumped into a taxi late on the evening of October 7, 2019, for a journey to take them from Kettering in Northants to Bedford Railway Station.
It was a 50 minute journey and the court was told as they approached the station the driver was suddenly directed to a quiet road behind Travistock Street in the town where he pulled up.
Mr Walker said it was then that the driver was suddenly grabbed round the neck and his money bag snatched which contained between £390 and £450.
Exiting the car, the group made off into Chandos Street. The driver tried to follow them in his car and on foot, but lost them.
The prosecutor said the following night the two accused were part of a group of three who got into a taxi in Chapel Street in Luton and told the driver to take them to Flitwick Rail Station.
Near the station the driver was instructed to drive into a road where, on pulling up, he was suddenly robbed of his money bag containing £100. The court heard that the driver was able to sound his horn in the residential street after a knife had been produced and as the two defendants made off.
It was accepted by the prosecution that both defendants had nothing to do with the knife and had been out of the car when the third youth had brandished it.
Judge Mark Bishop QC, hearing the case, was told that at the time of the robberies Abbas, of Spring Lane, Hemel Hempstead, was just 18. Edwards of Cannix Close, Stevenage, was 21.
Mr Walker said Edwards also was to be sentenced for two offences of possessing a class A drug with intent.
Those offences had occurred in November 2018 when he was seen by officers in an alleyway in Rushden, Northants. After a short chase he was stopped and arrested and later when a strip search was carried out it was discovered he had 167 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin hidden up his anus.
He also had £508 in cash on him and a mobile phone.
The court was told that Edwards, who is now 23, had got involved in drug dealing as a way of clearing his own drug debts.
Michael Stradling said that since the age of 16, Edwards had spent more time in custody than in the community because of his offending and was now determined to move away from negative peer influences.
Ben Rowe for Abbas, who is now 20, said his client wanted to apologise to the taxi drivers. At the time, said the barrister, an immature Abbas had left home and fallen off the “right path.”
Passing sentence, Judge Bishop told the men: “These robberies would have been very frightening experiences for both taxi drivers.” He said working alone at night made taxi drivers “vulnerable.”
The judge went on: “When they are attacked and robbed in this way it’s a very serious offence.”