A callous robber caught on tape giggling after slashing a taxi driver’s face has been jailed thanks to an alert policeman.
Jessica Buchanan pushed a knife against the cabbie’s neck as she demanded cash during the horrifying theft off New Birmingham Road in Tividale on May 18 last year.
The 21-year-old was caught on dashcam audio and the victim’s phone ‘giggling’ as she made off with £75 in the early morning attack.
Alert PC Andy Cleaver managed to identify Buchanan’s voice after hearing her speak and recalling her ‘twang’, which was caught on the dash camera.
The Sandwell neighbourhood officer had been visiting nearby flats - where Buchanan was staying - on July 4 last year with PC Mark Summerfield on an unrelated matter.
Buchanan initially denied any involvement in the robbery, which left the taxi driver with scarring to the nose and lip.
Following her arrest, other phones were linked to Buchanan and officers established she used a false name to book cabs from the firm and provide different addresses to avoid being identified.
Buchanan, of no fixed address, admitted robbery at Wolverhampton Crown Court and was jailed for four years and ten months on Friday, February 3.
PC Cleaver told the Birmingham Mail: “The only evidence we had to go on was the audio and her voice must have just stuck in my mind; I just knew she was the taxi robber when she started talking.
“Although our team wasn’t leading the investigation the sound captured on the dashcam and mobile phone was shared with us as neighbourhood officers in the area.
“Thankfully it paid off.”
Detective Sergeant Wayne Dudley, of West Midlands Police, said: “This was a fantastic piece of police work which enabled us to take a vicious robber off the streets.
“This was a traumatic experience for the taxi driver who has been left permanently scarred by what happened that night.
“The way in which Buchanan was caught just highlights the dedication, professionalism and skills of our officers to bring justice.”