Watford couple jailed for robbing taxi driver - St Albans


A couple who robbed a taxi driver in Garston, Watford were today, Tuesday, 04 March 2014, jailed for over 10 years.

Scott Crawford, 33, and Anouska Hardwick, 34, lured Azmat Shah to a quiet area in East Drive on the evening of Thursday, 21 February last year.  She distracted Mr Shah, 59, while Crawford launched an attack, punching him to the ground and kicking him. They escaped with his takings, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Daniel Siong prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said Mr Shah, of Chester Road, Watford, described the attack as a "nightmare." He needed stitches above and below his eye and was initially in no fit state to return to work. He is now back working, but has been left with permanent scarring, he said.

Crawford and Hardwick, of Adams Court, Cezanne Road, Watford, were today convicted of robbing Mr Shah of £130 on 21 February last year. Crawford admitting making off without paying while Hardwick was convicted of the same charge.

For Crawford, Andel Singh said he had been addicted to heroin since the age of 16. He said no weapons had been used and it had been a very short-lived incident.

Frida Hussain, defending Hardwick, said the mother of three also had a history of addiction to Class A drugs.

Recorder Wood said: "It was a nasty attack at night. Taxi drivers put themselves in positions of vulnerability to provide a public service."

She sentenced Crawford to five and a half years for the robbery with a further 4 weeks for making off without paying. Hardwick was jailed for 5 years with an extra 6 weeks for making off without paying. She said Hardwick received less for the robbery as she did not deliver the blows, but she got two weeks more for the making off because she had pleaded not guilty.

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