Fenton fare dodger jailed after threatening taxi driver
SERIAL criminal Darren Bodden has been jailed after refusing to pay a £7 taxi fare and threatening the cabbie with a metal splint.
The 42-year-old got out the car and walked away without paying after being dropped off in Milton Road, Sneyd Green.
When the driver twice challenged him, Bodden pointed the six-inch splint at him.
Fiona Cortese, prosecuting at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court yesterday, said: "The driver turned the car around and spoke to him through the open window and asked for the fare but he ignored him.
Purchase this property and receive £250 towards legal fees !! New on the market with no vendor chain !
Terms: Subject to offer and terms and conditions, contact the office for further information.
Contact: 01782 940925
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"He followed him and when he asked a second time, the defendant stopped and the driver saw a splint."
Bodden, of May Place, Fenton, was arrested shortly after the incident at about 11.30pm on June 30.
In his police interview, he claimed he had received information that his son was in trouble and was going to borrow some money to pay the fare.
The court heard Bodden was arrested again after he was caught with a steak knife in Hanley on August 16.
The defendant had entered a store in Old Hall Street with two friends when a shopkeeper noticed the handle of a knife protruding from his wrist brace.
He was detained by officers shortly afterwards in nearby Hillcrest Street.
Anis Ali, mitigating, said his client suffered depression, anxiety and paranoia.
She added: "He expresses remorse for his actions."
Bodden – who was handed an eight-year prison sentence in 1998 for robbery – pleaded guilty to possessing an offensive weapon and walking off without paying.
He had already admitted possession of an offensive weapon for the Hanley incident at an earlier hearing at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court.
Judge Paul Glenn told the defendant: "Courts take a serious view in the carrying of weapons.
"You have shown a propensity for violence and an inability to control yourself when drunk."
Bodden who has committed 17 offences since 1990, was sentenced to six months following the taxi row and a further 10 months for the Hanley incident. He will serve half the sentence and will complete the remainder on licence.