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Jail for drunk passenger who tried to rob taxi driver in Dundee

Ryan McKeever jumped into the front seat of a taxi and held-up the driver at knifepoint.

A sheriff jailed a knife-wielding thug who held up a taxi driver to get back the £100 fare he had just paid.

Ryan McKeever, 29, threatened Hugh Martin after he had driven him to Dundee’s West End from Glasgow.

He pulled back the plastic Covid-protection sheeting between himself and the driver and clambered into the front of the cab.

Dundee Sheriff Court heard the taxi driver is still suffering mental trauma after his ordeal.

A sheriff today locked up McKeever after he previously admitted trying to rob Mr Martin at knifepoint.

Sheriff Gregor Murray said: “You drank to excess and ordered a taxi for a brief journey to Glasgow.

“For reasons entirely unclear, you then changed the direction of your journey.

Dundee Sheriff Court exterior
Ryan McKeever was jailed on Monday at Dundee Sheriff Court.

“You then attempted to rob the taxi driver.

“Only his courage in driving off to seek help from another taxi driver helped to prevent the incident becoming more serious.”

Random journey before robbery attempt

The court was told how McKeever had asked Hampden Taxis for a driver to take him from Killermont Street in Glasgow to the city’s Argyle Street at 2.30am.

However, when Mr Martin arrived, McKeever demanded to be taken to Perth and paid £100 for the fare.

“The accused later said he actually needed to go to Perth Road in Dundee,” prosecutor Gavin Burton said.

“The accused demanded to be taken up side streets and along roads with no real purpose before shouting to stop.”

The driver asked for an extra £40 and McKeever threatened him with a knife.

Mr Martin continued to drive, while looking for assistance and managed to alert a fellow driver.

McKeever fled the scene and his description was passed to police.

Traced by police

An officer with a dog handler joined the search and McKeever was found on Perth Road a short time later.

Ryan McKeever repeatedly changed the course of his journey before drawing a knife on Hugh Martin.

He was detained and denied having any sharp objects in his possession but officers found a 20cm kitchen knife in his jogging bottoms.

It was also established McKeever was in breach of a curfew imposed at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

He answered “no comment” to most of the questions put to him by police and had to be taken to Ninewells Hospital after revealing he had taken drugs earlier in the evening.

Lasting effect on driver

McKeever, a prisoner of HMP Low Moss, pled guilty to assaulting Mr Martin on February 11 by pulling back and damaging plastic sheeting in the taxi, climbing into the front seat, brandishing a knife and demanding that he give him money and his wallet in an attempt to rob him.

Solicitor Gordon Williams said: “The terms of the (social work) report make fairly bleak reading.

“Although, fortunately, the complainer was not physically injured, there is a pretty long-standing psychological impact and the poor man is still suffering the consequences of that.”

McKeever was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

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