Taxi hijack duo are jailed

TWO men have been jailed for hijacking a taxi in an incident that led to a police chase.

Jonathan Barrett, of Low Lane, Birstall, and Scott Ormsby, 23, of Field Lane, Batley, were sentenced to six and five years respectively.

Leeds Crown Court heard the pair were among four men who got into a taxi in Morley on December 1 last year.

Victim Muhammed Akhlaq was punched twice in the face and then pulled out of the driver’s seat of his VW Passat on Drighlington by-pass.

Police in Bradford pulled the car over, but theirs and another vehicle were hit as the culprits escaped.

The Passat was seen driving down the wrong side of the road, at which point the police pursuit was abandoned.

It was later found elsewhere in Bradford and had to be written off, depriving Mr Akhlaq of his livelihood.

Barrett, also banned from the road for three years, admitted robbery, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Ormsby, who asked for 14 other offences to be considered and was out of prison on licence, admitted robbery.

Bronia Hartley, for Barrett, said the night started as a genuine taxi journey and that it was an opportunistic offence.

Both Barrett and Ormsby, who has drink and drug problems, expressed remorse for their actions.

Judge Rodney Jameson QC said Mr Akhlaq suffered financial loss by the taking of his vehicle in addition to his injuries.

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