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Ipswich: Man jailed for robbing female taxi driver

09:42 13 November 2012

James Sellers

James Sellers

Archant

A MAN who robbed a female taxi driver after realising he didn’t have enough money to pay his fare has been jailed for 30 months.

James Sellers, 25, and a friend got into a taxi driven by Josephine Gibbs after visiting a nightclub in Clacton and asked to be taken to Ipswich.

The men did not have enough money to pay the fare and Mrs Gibbs took their mobile phones as security until they got home and could get the money to pay her, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

When the taxi was in Severn Road, Ipswich, Sellers had elbowed Mrs Gibbs in the chest, grabbed the mobile phones and got out of the vehicle.

Police and paramedics who went to Mrs Gibbs’ aid found that she was shaking, hyper-ventilating and was visibly upset.

She was taken to hospital complaining of pain in her chest and said she had been forced back into the driver’s seat and struck in the chest by the front-seat passenger who robbed her.

Sellers, of Elmhurst Drive, Ipswich, denied robbing Mrs Gibbs on June 16 but was found guilty and jailed for 30 months.

Giving evidence, Sellers claimed he had realised half way back to Ipswich that his mother and sister would not be at home and he would not be able to pay the taxi fare.

He said that once the taxi reached Severn Road he tried to explain to Mrs Gibbs that he might not be able to pay her and claimed she had started talking about him robbing her.

He said he had told her he was not robbing her and when she had stopped the car he took the mobile phones which were in a bag in the centre of the car.

Sellers denied elbowing Mrs Gibbs in the chest and grabbing the phones from a bag in the footwell on her side of the car.

He accepted he should not have taken the phones until he had paid the fare but denied robbing her or using any force.

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