Men jailed after attack on taxi driver in Wickford

Two robbers who violently assaulted a taxi driver in Wickford have been jailed for a combined 21 years after being arrested within hours of the attack.

Kevin Hutchinson, 25, of Appleton Way, in Wickford and Roy O’Donoghue, 34, of Finchley Road, Westcliff, targeted the driver in Appletree Way, Wickford, at 2.45am on September 12.

During the attack, the victim had a cord placed around his neck as one of the men tried to strangle him. He was also punched.

The victim’s iPhone was also taken during the robbery.

But within hours of the report, both men were in police custody after officers were able to identify Hutchinson as one of the men seen carrying out the attack, which was caught on the taxi driver’s internal camera.

Hutchinson was linked to three addresses and was arrested at the third address.

While there, officers arrested a second man, O’Donoghue, after noticing his tattoos of birds matched those seen on the second man in the dash cam footage.

Both men were still wearing the same clothes as when they had committed the robbery.

The pair were charged and convicted with robbery and on Tuesday February 9, they were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court by Judge Samantha Leigh.

O’Donoghue was sentenced to 11 years and four months, which includes a six-year sentence and five years on extended licence.

Hutchinson was handed a ten year sentence, which includes fours years on extended licence.

Investigating officer, Acting DS Natalie Backhouse, said: “I am pleased the court recognised this was a horrific and impactful attack on the victim.

“This sentencing is fair and shows that the courts appreciated the seriousness of it.

“This is a message to anyone who thinks they can commit crime in Essex and get away with it – you cannot.

“In this case, we had both O’Donoghue and Hutchinson in custody within 12 hours of the robbery being reported and we hope that is of some comfort to their victim.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]