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Jailed Hemel man turns on jury

 Published on: 19th September 2018   |   By: Court Reporter   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Hemel Hempstead man who robbed a taxi driver at knifepoint swore at the jury after being handed a 10 year sentence.

Carl Austin, 30, also fought with court officers as the judge handed down a seven year jail term with a three year extension that means he could be called back to prison at any time up to 2028.

Austin, of Townsend, was convicted of robbing his victim on May 16 this year after spending most of the day drinking at a wake. He got in to the taxi and was taken to Livingstone Walk in Hemel at about 9.30pm where he pulled a knife on the driver and stole cash.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court took just six and a half hours to convict Austin who has 19 previous convictions for 43 offences including robbery and arson.

Judge Michael Kay QC told him the taxi driver had been a “soft target ” He said: “Taxi drivers are vulnerable and deserve the protection of the court. ”You were filled with alcohol and when presented with the opportunity to rob someone you did so.”

The judge told him he would serve four years and eight months in jail before he can apply for parole.

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