TWO Chester men who threatened to rob a taxi driver by holding a knife to his stomach after not paying their £17 fare have been jailed.

Michael Creevy, 46 and Philip Corbett, 45, had both pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and making off without payment.

Both of them were jailed when they appeared at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday, October 14.

Prosecuting, Matthew Curtis said it was about 1.35am on August 27 when the taxi driver, self-employed with KingKabs, was called to go to Norman Way, Blacon, where both defendants lived.

He picked up Creevy and Corbett and drove them to Kingsway, where they met some men in a car park.

About 15 minutes later, as arranged, the taxi driver took them back to Norman Way, Blacon, and informed them the fare was £17.35.

The defendants said they had the money in their house and went inside.

After five minutes of waiting, the taxi driver got out of his car and tried contacting the defendants using the phone number they had used to arrange the taxi journey.

After getting no answer, the taxi driver returned to his car when he saw the two defendants going towards his taxi.

He challenged the pair to pay the money when one of the duo grabbed him from behind and restrained him, while the other produced what looked like a kitchen knife of about seven or eight inches, and held it to the taxi driver's stomach, threatening to rob him.

The taxi driver was able to break free and ran off, pursued for a short distance by one of the two defendants.

The taxi driver was then able to press an emergency button in the taxi and explained what had happened to KingKabs, and police were called.

At 2.35am police forced entry into the Norman Way house and arrested Creevy and Corbett, while noting there was drugs paraphernalia in the house.

A victim impact statement from the taxi driver said he now avoided fares to and from Blacon as a result of the incident, and he and his wife were anxious about him driving at night.

He had previously always felt safe, but had struggled to sleep and had not told all his family about what had happened.

The court heard Creevy had 35 convictions for 95 offences, beginning in 1988 and the majority involving theft and dishonesty. He had been jailed at Liverpool Crown Court in 1997 for 21 months for burglary.

Corbett had six convictions for nine offences, including for shoplifting and drugs possession. There had been a near 20-year gap in his offending.

Alison Mather, defending Creevy, said both defendants were drug users and that night they had been looking for drugs.

Creevy had described the incident as "a moment of madness" and one which would "never happen again".

While his criminal record was significant, neither defendant had convictions for violence.

Both defendants had been on drug treatment programmes since being in custody, and were now on methadone.

"This is a time of stabilisation for him," Ms Mather said.

Creevy had "expressed genuine remorse" and acknowledged the taxi driver was "just doing his job".

Patrick Cassidy, defending Corbett, said it was "inevitable" the duo would be caught and they were "paying the price" for what they had done.

It was to be Corbett's first custodial sentence.

Honorary Recorder of Chester Judge Steven Everett said what had happened was a "nasty and mean offence".

He said: "The taxi driver took you to a a place, no doubt to get drugs. I suspect neither of you had any money.

"He tried to get the money and, I am prepared to accept on the spur of the moment, you tried to rob him.

"One of you had a knife – it does not matter which – one of you held him and threatened him with the knife to the stomach. A truly frightening incident.

"The victim impact statement shows a decent man, working hard, totally affected by this.

"Hopefully time will change and make it easier for him. I note he shows considerable courage to carry on working."

Creevy was jailed for 57 months, while Corbett was jailed for 48 months.

The knife was forfeited.

Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Karina Monks, who led the investigation on behalf of Chester CID, said: “Michael Creevy and Philip Corbett subjected the taxi driver to a terrifying ordeal.

“After failing to pay him for taking them to where they wanted to go, the pair demanded cash from the driver and threatened him with a knife in the street.

“Thankfully he managed to get away from them without being harmed or having anything stolen.

“In addition, he was able to tell us where the pair were so that we could arrest them and have them brought to justice.

“With the extent of the evidence we gathered against Creevy and Corbett, they had little choice other than to plead guilty to attempted robbery and making off without payment.

“I am delighted that they have now received custodial sentences for their actions that night and I hope that this brings some closure to the victim and enables him to move forward with his life.

“I also hope that the convictions of Creevy and Corbett serve as a deterrent to other people and stops them from committing similar crimes, and that this case sends out a strong message that knife crime will not be tolerated.

“At Cheshire Constabulary we are committed to doing all we can to tackle knife crime.

“We will respond robustly to any knife related incidents and do everything we can to ensure that anyone found to be carrying a knife or committing a knife related offence is brought to justice.”

Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, who is Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, added: “Cheshire has a lower rate of knife crime than most other counties in England.

“We saw a reduction in knife crime in Cheshire last year, in contrast to the rise in knife crime that was seen nationally.

“However, we will not be satisfied until we have achieved our goal of achieving weapons-free streets throughout Cheshire.

“We have a multi-faceted approach to tackling knife crime at Cheshire Constabulary and we will continue to work alongside various partner agencies to endeavour – through education, awareness and action – to make Cheshire a county in which no-one carries a knife or feels that there is a reason to do so.

“However, the police cannot achieve this goal on our own. Knife crime is a societal problem that cannot be solved without the support of the whole society.

“I urge anyone with information regarding knife crimes or those who carry weapons to give us the details.

“If you know someone who carries a knife then reporting it to the police could be enough to save a life.”

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “The consequences of carrying a knife can be devastating for everyone involved.

“As the county’s police and crime commissioner, I will continue to work with Cheshire Constabulary and our communities to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on our streets, and to educate people about the dangers of knife crime, and I urge anyone with information about those who carry such weapons to come forward in confidence and report it.”

To report any type of crime involving weapons call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to the force online via

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can report it to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.