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‘Depths of depravity’ — Dundee addict robbed taxi driver with knife held at throat

Dundee taxi drivers funding
Taxi drivers were described as 'vulnerable' by the sheriff

A drug addict placed a knife across a taxi driver’s throat and robbed him just days after being released early from prison.

Taxi driver Alan Waterstone had to fight off Steven Stewart as the desperate addict pressed a large kitchen knife against his neck.

Stewart – who was later caught carrying a knife in a Mickey Mouse lifestyle bag – grabbed cash from Mr Waterstone’s pocket and ran off down an alley.

He was jailed for three years on Tuesday.

Sheriff Richard McFarlane said: “Taxi drivers work alone, they are vulnerable and need to be able to go about their business without fear of being interfered with in the manner you saw fit to do so.”

Dundee Sheriff Court was told Stewart was released in April last year while he still had 108 days of his previous sentence to complete.

He attacked and robbed Mr Waterstone on May 18.

‘Gie’s your money’

Fiscal depute Lora Apostalova told the court: “Mr Waterstone believed he had about £115. The accused got into the passenger seat before shutting the door.

“He immediately put the knife against the driver’s neck and said ‘gie’s your money’.”

Mr Waterstone grabbed the hand holding the knife.

“The accused continued to apply pressure with the knife towards his throat.

“The accused used his other hand to take notes out of the driver’s pocket.

“He told the driver to open the door. Mr Waterstone initially refused but as he had a knife at his throat he complied.

“The accused got out and ran down an alley.”

Stewart was sentenced at Dundee Sheriff Court

Stewart, 39, from Dundee, was traced by police a month later and was carrying a Mickey Mouse bag containing a lock knife and other items.

He admitted assaulting and robbing Mr Waterstone on May 18, possessing a knife and breaching a bail curfew condition on June 15.

‘Depths of depravity’

Solicitor Theo Finlay, defending, said: “He has a lengthy and fairly persistent record.

“This highlights the depths of depravity people can find themselves in with a desperate need to fund drug addiction.

“After his release from prison in April 2020 he very quickly resorted again to drug misuse.

“The later charges involved him ambling around the streets under the influence of drugs and the knife – among other things – was found in a Mickey Mouse lifestyle bag.”

Sheriff McFarlane said: “Assault and robbery is a particularly serious charge.

“It was aggravated by the use of a knife and the capacity the complainer was working in as a taxi driver.

“Taxi drivers work alone, they are vulnerable and need to be able to go about their business without fear of being interfered with in the manner you saw fit to do so.

“This was all against a background of your lifestyle being out of control but drug-orientated.

“You have a fair number of assault convictions so there is a violent disposition in your make-up.”

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