A man has been sentenced to life for vicious attacks on minicab drivers in Hackney and Harin-gey - but could be out in just five years.
Mark Anthony Brown went on a brutal crime spree for two weeks in October. The thug first attacked a cab driver in Amhurst Park on Friday October 3. He threatened the driver with a four-inch knife and punched him in the head.
According to London24.com, the quick-thinking cabbie sounded his horn to attract passers-by, but by now Brown was in a frenzy. He continued his attack, punching and even biting the 51-year-old driver before making off with a briefcase.
A day later, Brown went into a cab office in Bethnal Green and asked a driver to take him to Woodbury Grove. He told him he had a knife and ordered him to hand over his money. They struggled, and Brown punched the 31-year-old man in the face and stole £130 in cash from him.
The next weekend, a minicab driver took Brown from an address in N17 to Earls Mead Road. Brown paid him with a £50 note – a lure to get him to open his wallet to get change. Brown snatched £40 from his hand and fled.
The next day, Monday October 13, Brown took a cab to Stamford Hill for his final attack. He held a knife against the cab driver’s neck and punched him again and again in the face, breaking his nose. The 54-year-old victim’s face and eye socket were also left badly swollen. Brown made off with £50 in cash and the sat-nav system.
Police hunted down Brown in a foot chase a week later.
He pleaded guilty of four counts of robbery, and was sentenced to life imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court last month. He will spend a minimum of five years in jail.
Detective Constable Matt Mowbray, from Hackney Borough CID, said: “Brown’s actions have had lasting impact on his victims. His repeated attacks left other minicab drivers in the area very fearful for their safety.
“I hope that this lengthy sentence serves to reassure the public now that this dangerous man has been removed from the streets.”