Taxi driver stabbed by Cobridge drug user Matthew Hollins
A DRUG user who stabbed a taxi driver has been jailed for two years.
Matthew Hollins, aged 22, was disarmed by members of the public who went to the driver's aid on the afternoon of May 21, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
But his co-accused, Yasmine Warrilow-Degg, returned to the scene and picked the knife up from the floor and waved it at those who intervened and threatened to stab them.
Prosecutor David Bennett told the court that the pair had called a taxi at midday to take them from Cobridge to Stoke.
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Warrilow-Degg went into a house off London Road, Stoke, while Hollins waited in the taxi.
After 10 minutes she returned and they asked to go back to Cobridge.
"The driver stopped at a cash point at the request of the defendants. Warrilow-Degg got out and ran away," said Mr Bennett.
"Hollins tried to leave the taxi. The driver believed he was not going to receive payment for the journey so he took hold of Hollins's arm and told him to pay the fare.
"He realised that Hollins was holding a kitchen knife, which he used to stab the driver three of four times.
"Others intervened and tried to take the knife from Hollins and stop him from leaving.
"Warrilow-Degg returned and took up the knife from the floor, waved it at those who intervened and made a threat to stab them.
"Both defendants then ran off."
The driver was left with deep puncture wounds to his inner left forearm.
Police later arrested both of the defendants at an address in Waterloo Road, Cobridge, later that afternoon. The driver identified Hollins the following day.
Hollins, of Stansgate Place, Cobridge, who has convictions for 37 offences, pleaded guilty to wounding and possessing a bladed article.
Warrilow-Degg, aged 30, of the same address, who has convictions for 77 offences, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article.
Jason Holt, mitigating for Hollins, said the taxi journey was to 'score drugs'.
He added his client's life had been 'somewhat tragic' but he was realistic and knew he would be going to prison.
Robert Smith, representing Warrilow-Degg, conceded she had an 'unenviable record' but said she was beginning to show signs of maturing.
Judge Paul Glenn said it was an unpleasant for the driver who was doing his job.
"He needed an operation and no doubt found it a very frightening experience," said the judge.
Jailing Hollins for two years, Judge Glenn said: "Courts are very concerned about the carrying of knives, which seems to have become something of a culture.
"It is quite plain your drug problem has underpinned a lot of your offending."
The judge sentenced Warrilow-Degg to a 12-month community order with supervision and a requirement to attend a thinking skills programme.
He told her: "You pleaded guilty to possession of a knife for a limited time period to enable Hollins to escape."