Man Jailed for Knife Threat over Cab Fare

A taxi driver was threatened with a knife by a passenger after driving from London to Bristol and challenging the man for refusing to pay the £250 fare.

Kastytis Spadavicius arrived in the early hours at Victoria coach station on 14th April and agreed to pay taxi driver Shahnawaz Razaq £250 for a ride to Bristol. However, when they arrived at Bristol Temple Meads he refused to pay and took out a knife when challenged, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Another taxi driver then helped Razaq, who locked Spadavicius at the back of his taxi and called the police to arrest him.

Spadavicius pleaded guilty to making off without payment and having an offensive weapon. He was then sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Judge Susan Evans QC had remanded Spadavicius in custody to give the Crown Prosecution Service time to clarify his convictions in Lituania, his home country, before the sentence.

The judge, Susan Evans QC said that Spadavicius was an undesirable person to stay in the UK, told him via an interpreter, “As soon as you reached this country you committed serious offences.

“It is important to note that it must be in the public interest that taxi drivers have to be protected. They are a vulnerable group of people who have an important duty to perform.”

The sentence means that Spadavicius will be automatically deported to Lithuania.

Prosecuting, Robert Reid, said that Spadavicius agreed the £250 fare but when they arrived to Bristol, he was allowed to collect the money and disappeared. He carried on saying “The taxi driver drove around for a few moments, looking for him, and caught sight of him.

“He asked for the money and at that point the knife was produced.”

Reid then said he scared the driver who backed off and called the police. Razaq then explained to another cab driver what had happened, who then drove him to find Spadavicius.

Spadavicius was then arrested after being locked into the cab. Initially he refused to talk unless he was given a cigarette, but it did not happen and he stayed silent.

Nicolas Gerasimidis, defending, said his client had fully accepted the way he behaved and pleaded guilty.
At an earlier court hearing, the court heard that Spadavicius had told a probation officer that he had shot and stabbed people before, but he no longer admitted or accepted that.

Spadavicius said that he carried a knife for work in Lithuania and he had not been convicted for having it and had not used it as a weapon before.

The knife has been forfeited for destruction.

Even though Razaq was unharmed, it is still a frightening experience. Luckily the other driver was able to help him and track the passenger down. The taxi vehicle was also undamaged, which can also be a worry for drivers, as it unnecessary increases their taxi insurance premiums, as well as stress levels.

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