A bungling thug who shattered a cabbie’s jaw in two places before going on the run led the police straight to his £24,000 cannabis farm.
Stuart Snape, 30, from Preston, has now been jailed for 40 months after admitting wounding, producing cannabis and abstracting £1,650 of electricity.
The hapless criminal’s victim, 45-year-old William Wade, from Bamber Bridge, says he hasn’t worked a Saturday night since the March attack and needs ongoing treatment for his shocking injury.
“I’m glad that he’s in jail now and it’s a little bit of closure,” William, who works with Miller’s Taxis in Preston, told the Lancashire Evening Post.
“He wrote a letter of apology which the police gave to me but no sentence is long enough, I needed him behind bars.
“I’ve been trying to get back to working Saturday nights but I had a panic attack the first time I tried.
“I was hoping to go back last Saturday but it was an England game and the night I got attacked England were also playing - it seems silly but it just makes me think ‘what if’.”
Preston Crown Court heard that on March 26, Mr Wade collected a man from Conniston Drive, Walton-le-Dale to go to Lostock Hall at 9.10pm.
“He was drunk and I just about worked out he wanted to go to Lostock Hall, but he had to get out to be sick,” William said.
“I didn’t want to take him any further so I asked for the £3.70 but he refused and said I’d nicked his phone. Next thing I know he’s hit me and run off.”
Police found the drug grower’s two mobile phones close to where he had been sick. And when officers tracked Snape down at his home four days later, they stumbled upon his £24,000 cannabis farm growing in his loft with 30 plants, weighing 1,200 grams.
They also discovered Snape had bypassed the electricity meter, abstracting £1,650.
But despite Snape being behind bars, William admits the treatment has knocked his confidence and says he’s had to “learn to talk again” before going back to work.
“My jaw’s had to be broken and re-set and although I’ve had treatment I’m still getting constant toothache and slurring my words,” he said.
“The last six or seven months have been a nightmare and I’ve been giving up my Saturday and Sunday days to make up the money of not working nights.”