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Drug addict jailed for robbing taxi drivers at knifepoint

Luke Rawson was jailed for six years robbing nine taxi drivers.
Luke Rawson was jailed for six years robbing nine taxi drivers.

A knifepoint robber who targeted nine cabbies at the dead of night has been jailed for six years.

Drug addict Luke Rawson lured taxi drivers to secluded spots at around midnight before threatening them with a blade and making off with their takings.

Rawson, 28, from Wyke, was on prison licence when he carried out his robbery spree.

He had been released from jail three months earlier after serving a sentence as a “three strikes” house breaker.

He pleaded guilty to two robberies, an attempted robbery and three offences of having an offensive weapon in a public place.

While he was held in custody awaiting sentence, he confessed to six further offences of robbing taxi drivers.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Rawson’s first victim, Mohammed Suleman, was attacked after being asked to pick up a fare in Wyke, late on April 9.

Rawson jumped into the back of the cab seized the taxi driver round his neck saying: “Give me the f***ing money.”

The taxi driver feared for his life when he noticed he was being threatened with a six inch blade.

Rawson cut the driver’s hand in the ensuing struggle and made off in his Skoda Octavia cab.

It was found abandoned in Bradford with Mr Suleman’s phone, £150 in cash and the vehicle public address system gone.

Rawson struck again on April 24 at around midnight in Low Moor, Bradford.

He flagged down cab driver Mohammed Bashir and got into the front seat. Rawson produced a knife and Mr Bashir was robbed of £35 in coins and notes.

On May 2, Rawson attempted to rob Abdul Razaq in Wibsey, Bradford.

He pretended to be a fare and got into the front seat of his taxi at around midnight. He was threatened with a knife but Mr Razaq shouted for help and Rawson ran off.

Rawson was arrested two days later and tested positive for cocaine.

Mr Suleman feared for his life in the robbery and now felt vulnerable.

Mr Bashir was shaken and suffered nightmares. He had cut his hours so he did not have to drive so late at night.

Mr Razaq, a cabbie for 28 years, now tried to avoid cul-de-sacs.

Rawson had 25 previous convictions for 41 offences but none for robbery or violent crime.

His barrister, Chloe Hudson, said he had owned up to the six further robberies because he wanted to make a fresh start.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said: “This was a frenetic series of offences causing fear, trauma, physical, emotional, psychological and emotional damage.

“The victims were targeted in a planned and determined way because they were vulnerable.”