Taxi driver fights off an attempted robber in the back of his cab after an early hours booking from March to Wisbech

PUBLISHED: 11:07 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:11 31 January 2018

March taxi driver Samuel Slater was assaulted by a customer at the weekend. PHOTO: Kath Sansom.

March taxi driver Samuel Slater was assaulted by a customer at the weekend. PHOTO: Kath Sansom.

Archant

A taxi driver fought off an attacker in an early morning attempted robbery when a back seat passenger grabbed his neck and tried to strangle him to steal his cash box.

March taxi driver Samuel Slater was assaulted by a customer at the weekend. PHOTO: Kath Sansom. March taxi driver Samuel Slater was assaulted by a customer at the weekend. PHOTO: Kath Sansom.

Dart taxi driver, Samuel Slater, 67, told how he slammed the attackers head towards his seat and then told him to get out his car after he was asked to stop at a supermarket cash point machine.

Mr Slater picked up two men and a woman, all aged around 23, from outside the Griffin Hotel in March town centre on a pre booked run going to Elm High Road in Wisbech.

Half way there he became suspicious when the two males started whispering and he overheard one say; “We might as well do it here,” to which the other replied “no it’s too far to walk.”

Mr Slater, who has been left shaken and angry by the attack, said: “What if he had used a knife, in the moment it is frightening, but adrenalin kicks in too.

“The Dart taxi office received a booked call from a young man for the Griffin and everything seemed as normal.

“Three people got in the cab, either drunk or on something, again nothing unusual, but as we got to Coldham I became suspicious. I knew something was going to happen.

“When we got to Elm one of the young men asked me to stop at Morrisons cash point. The man who made the taxi booking then got up behind me in the back seat and he crouched down, put his arms around my neck and pulled me back to the seat.

“The other man opened his back door and put one foot out but stopped as his girlfriend was screaming what are you doing, she was really upset.

“I put my arm up and pulled the attacker’s head down in between the seats. The girl started hitting him, she was screaming and crying her eyes out.

“The other lad froze.

“The attacker let go, I threw him backwards and told him to get out my cab.

“The other one got money from the cash point and I took him and his girlfriend back to Elm High Road.

“At this point the girl was still crying saying she never wanted to see the lad again.

“The police were very good and came out quickly. Legally we are not allowed to have cameras facing customers that we can see ourselves in our cab. We can only have cameras with a screen that the office can see, maybe that is something needed.

“In 16 years I’ve never had any trouble doing this job. I’ve been left with a back neck, my shoulder hurts and I’m shaken.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said: “We are investigating this as an attempted robbery.

“It happened at about 1.10am on Sunday 28. Minor injuries were sustained. Inquiries are ongoing.”

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