Tayside and Central Scotland

Christopher Davies jailed for Bo'ness taxi driver attack

A convicted killer who tried to strangle a taxi driver in a robbery bid has been jailed for five years.

Christopher Davies, 40, put a belt around William McDonald's neck as he tried to steal his takings bag in the moving taxi in Bo'ness.

The 60-year-old driver was also bitten on the arm, but managed to break free and throw his attacker out of the car.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Scott jailed Davies for five years for the "frightening, dangerous assault".

Davies had 45 previous convictions, including a nine-year sentence for culpable homicide in 1996 and others for fire-raising and drugs, and was out on bail and on license for an assault conviction when he attacked Mr McDonald.

The judge said Davies had become entrenched in a lifestyle of drugs, drink and violence, and said she would have imposed a seven-year prison term had he not pled guilty.

The attack took place on 31 July last year, when Davies got into Mr McDonald's private-hire Skoda Octavia cab on East Pier Street in Bo'ness and asked to be taken to Grangemouth.

'That was stupid'

Advocate Depute Mark McGuire said Davies had put his belt around his victim's neck in a bid to throttle him, and demanded money while the vehicle was still moving.

He said: "The victim managed to place his hand up in time to prevent the belt from being tightened, though the accused continued to try and do so.

"During the course of the struggle, the accused bit the victim on the arm before the driver was able to break free and escape from the vehicle."

Mr McDonald threw Davies out of the cab empty-handed and drove away, before later identifying him in police photographs.

When Davies was detained at Falkirk police station and told it was because of a robbery, he said: "Oh, the taxi, that was stupid."

He admitted assaulting and trying to rob Mr McDonald by demanding money, attempting to strangle him with a belt in a moving vehicle, biting him and struggling with him.

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci said Davies had a chronic drug problem, had taken a large quantity of valium and remembered very little about the offence.

Lady Scott jailed Davies for five years, followed by three years of supervision.

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