Knifeman confronted cabbie who stopped to help unconscious man in Exmouth, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:34 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 09:16 27 June 2019

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Exeter Crown Court. Picture: Archant


A good samaritan taxi driver who stopped to help an unconscious man in the road was confronted by a drunken knifeman.

A brave cabbie succeeded in disarming the 24-year-old man in a night time incident in Dinan Way, Exmouth in May.

A judge at Exeter Crown Court praised the taxi driver's public-spirited actions as he pulled over to help a man on the ground.

The court heard that the cabbie feared he was going to be stabbed when he then saw a second man holding a knife.

The judge was told the Exmouth knifeman had a history of self harm and had taken a knife from the kitchen of a house where he had been at a party, with the intention of hurting himself.

The judge told the defendant: "It is clear you had been drinking to excess and made a phone call to the police saying you had a knife and were going to use it to harm yourself. The police responded, but in the meantime a taxi driver saw your friend lying on the floor.

"Quite properly and with a high regard for the public interest, he went to see what the problem was.

"You struck his vehicle and when he remonstrated with you, he saw the knife in your left hand with the blade pointing downwards, this man genuinely thought you were going to attack him.

"He was aware you were clearly intoxicated and armed with a knife. He disarmed you and you did not stab out at him. You explained in interview that you had the knife for the purpose of self harm."

Robert Yates, prosecuting, said the taxi driver saw a man collapsed in Dinan Way at 2.30am on May 6, this year and stopped to see if he was all right.

The defendant had been at the same party as the unconscious man and hit the taxi before the confrontation in which the driver realised he had a knife and disarmed him. The police arrived shortly afterwards and arrested him.

Hollie Gilbery, defending, said the defendant only posed a risk to himself on the night and needed help to overcome problems of depression and self harm. A probation report said he was homeless at the time and felt he had reached rock bottom on the night of his arrest. He is now receiving treatment and is being supported and housed by his family.

The defendant pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and possession of a knife in a public place and was made subject of a two year community order with a curfew and 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

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