Gravesend robber jailed for assaulting taxi drivers
PUBLISHED: 14:36 14 August 2018
A robber who used a glass bottle to assault two taxi drivers in Gravesend has been jailed for more than five years.
Liam Bushell, 26, of Gloucester Road, Gravesend, was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on August 7 after a jury found him guilty of robbery and an attempted robbery.
The first incident happened between 12.35am and 1am on March 30, when Bushell booked a taxi from Orchard Road, Northfleet to York Road, Kings Farm in Gravesend.
When Bushell arrived at the address he claimed he did not have the money to pay the fare.
The victim offered to take him to a nearby cash point however Bushell said he did not have his wallet on him, and also claimed to not have a phone so could not pay the next day.
The taxi driver asked Bushell for his phone number and at this point Bushell used a glass beer bottle to hit the driver over the back of his head.
Realising he was bleeding the victim put his hand on his head and was struck again.
The driver immediately got out of the car and ran up the road for help before turning back to see that Bushell was running away from the taxi with a carrier bag.
On returning to the car, the driver found that his mobile phone, takings from the previous night, a tablet computer, a Dash Cam and a further security camera had all been stolen.
He went to hospital to be treated for lacerations to the back of his head.
On April 4, Bushell requested a taxi to collect him from a pub in Old Road West at around 3.40am.
Having asked Bushell where he would like to stop, Bushell hit the driver on the back of the head twice with a beer bottle.
The victim got out of the car and shouted for help.
At the same time Bushell attempted to get into the taxi driver’s seat and the victim, who had fallen to the floor, got up and attempted to stop him from stealing his taxi.
Bushell continued to attack the victim who also fought back, until two people from a nearby house came out to help and he ran away.
Officers arrived and the taxi driver was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated for various cuts and scratches and a large cut to his head.
While carrying out enquiries into the incident, officers found a mobile phone nearby which belonged to Bushell.
He was also identified through Dash Cam footage filmed during the second incident.
He was located at around 2.20pm on April 4 in Kitchener Road, Gravesend, where he was arrested and subsequently charged with the offences.
Investigating officer Det Cons Iain Joyce said: “Bushell carried out vicious attacks on both men who were entirely innocent and working to make a living.
“He booked both taxis knowing that he would not be paying the fares and went equipped with a beer bottle on both occasions which he used to cause injuries.
“Dash Cams are really important to have inside vehicles and as seen in this case helped to secure a good sentence due to the overwhelming evidence against him.
“Bushell’s behaviour was out of control during the incidents and I’m pleased he has been sentenced accordingly.”