Beds, Herts & Bucks

Two women from Luton jailed for taxi driver attack

Two women from Luton who robbed a taxi driver to feed a crack cocaine binge have been jailed.

Charlene Owens, 34, was sentenced to 10 years and Charlyne Newell, 26, was given seven years at Luton Crown Court.

Judge David Farrell QC said the robbery was "pre-planned and premeditated" with the purpose of getting money for drugs.

Owens pulled a knife at a cash machine in a car park at 01:20 BST on 11 July 2011, stabbed the taxi driver and took £80, his wallet and mobile phone.

Taxi driver, Salim Choudhury, said at the trial in December last year he picked the two women up from Marsh Farm in Luton.

When he asked for his fare at the cash machine before taking them home, rear seat passenger Owens held a knife to his throat.

He tried to pull the knife away but his hand was cut and then he was stabbed in the face, shoulder and behind his ear.

Ran out of drugs

The women ran off after threatening to kill him if he complained.

Owens, of Olympic Close, pleaded not guilty to robbery and wounding but was convicted by the jury.

She was also on licence for a previous sentence for robbery, where her partner had used a knife.

Newell, of Devon Road, pleaded guilty to the robbery but denied knowing a knife was going to be used.

She also denied wounding but was convicted.

Judge Farrell said: "You had run out of drugs and decided to rob a taxi driver. The sole purpose was to take his money to purchase more drugs.

"He was stabbed but fortunately lived to tell the tale."

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