A TAXI driver who was held at knifepoint by robbers has spoken of his relief after late-night bin men came to his rescue.
Grandfather Thomas Newton’s throat was slashed and his head was cut during a scuffle with two men in his cab on Monday night.
Despite his injuries, the 66-year-old refused to hand over his takings and the thieves fled with his mobile phone.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Echo, Mr Newton said: “There was no-one else about and if the dustcart hadn’t arrived I dread to think what could have happened. I may owe my life to the bin collectors who gave chase.”
The father-of-four’s terrifying ordeal began after he picked up two men at a taxi rank on Meyrick Road, Bournemouth.
The pair asked to be taken to Boscombe and when the cab pulled up in Adeline Road, one restrained Mr Newton, threatening him and demanding money.
He said: “The one sitting behind me put his arm around my throat. I tried to press my emergency button and phone for help but they were having none of it.
“They said: ‘We want all your money’ but I refused to hand it over, not realising that they had a knife. I managed to tumble out of the cab and was lying in the road when the men in the dustcart gave chase.
“One noticed that one of the robbers had a knife. I didn’t realised I’d been injured until I put my hand to my throat and it was covered in blood.”
Mr Newton, who lives in Bournemouth, needed hospital treatment, receiving three stitches to his neck wound.
He has not worked since but is planning to work a shift tonight. He said: “It’s made me nervous and I keep looking over my shoulder. When you work in the taxi trade you are always aware that this sort of thing can happen but when it happens to you it makes you a bit wary.
“I want these men caught and also want to make other taxi drivers aware of the very real dangers they face.”
Both robbers are white, in their late 20s or early 30s and were wearing brown puffa-style jackets with fluffy hoods.
DC Phillip Read from Bournemouth CID described the 9.18pm attack as “cowardly and shocking”, adding: “I am appealing for witnesses and anyone with any information about those responsible to contact me as soon as possible.
“It may be that someone saw these two men either getting into a taxi in the Lansdowne area or running away towards Grosvenor Road.”
• Detectives can be contacted on 01202 222222, quoting incident number 21:448