Driver's plea after knife-point attack

A TAXI driver who ended up helping a woman who had tried to rob him at knife-point today called on others to exercise some festive spirit.Robert Kidd-Stanton, of Cauldwell Hall Road, suffered his horrifying ordeal after picking up a woman from Lloyds Avenue.

A TAXI driver who ended up helping a woman who had tried to rob him at knife-point today called on others to exercise some festive spirit.

Robert Kidd-Stanton, of Cauldwell Hall Road, suffered his horrifying ordeal after picking up a woman from Lloyds Avenue.

Maxine Hinton, 37, of Pleasant Row, Ipswich, has admitted attempting to rob the 44-year-old.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that Hinton had a "substantial medical and psychiatric history".

Hinton, who has a criminal record for prostitution and dishonesty, was remanded in custody until January 24 when she is due to be sentenced.

Today, Mr Kidd-Stanton came forward to plead with punters to let he and his colleagues get on with their jobs during one of their busiest times of the year.

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He was attacked by a woman after picking her up at about 2am on December 14. After initially saying she wanted to go to Princes Street, she changed her mind and said she wanted to go to Smart Street.

Then, as the cab travelled along Shire Hall Yard, the passenger abruptly told Mr Kidd-Stanton to stop the car before threatening him with a six-inch knife.

He said: "She turned and looked at me. I've never seen eyes like it.

"Then she pulled a knife from her pocket. She said 'sorry to have to do this, but I've got no choice. I want your money'.

"With that, I made a split second decision and just grabbed her arm and pushed it against the window."

While restraining the woman, she threatened to bite Mr Kidd-Stanton, claiming she had hepatitis B.

After talking to her, he persuaded the woman to give up her knife.

It was at this point she became suicidal, threatening to slit her throat and asking to be taken to the Orwell Bridge so she could jump.

Mr Kidd-Stanton said: "I told her to sit down and we'd have a drive. I'd managed to calm her down.

"I was in shock. I just drove."

His route eventually took him back to Peel Street, where flagged down fellow cabbie, Stuart Snowland.

While telling his friend what had happened, the pair managed to attract the attention of a passing police car.

Mr Kidd-Stanton was full of praise for the actions of police, who arrested the woman and took his statement.

He said: "The officer who looked after me was fantastic. I don't know her name, but she did her job really well."

Despite being shaken up by the incident, Mr Kidd-Stanton returned to his job of 12 years the following day.

He said: "It's like riding a bike. You fall off and then get straight back on again.

"But I want to get the issue across. We're all doing a job and we don't carry vast amounts of money.

"I've come forward to highlight the fact they're not going to get away with this."

Eric Pearl, secretary of the Ipswich Taxi Drivers' Association, said: "We're very proud of him because he came back to work so quickly.

"People have got to be shown they can't frighten us off doing our job. Robert dealt with it so calmly and professionally."

What do you think of Mr Kidd-Stanton's actions? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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