Menu
News

Toowoomba taxi driver knifed in botched armed robbery

A taxi driver is treated for cuts to his hand at Toowoomba Hospital.
A taxi driver is treated for cuts to his hand at Toowoomba Hospital. 7 Local News

A 34-YEAR-OLD man who admitted stabbing a Toowoomba taxi driver during a botched armed robbery has been jailed for five years.

And, because he was on parole at the time of the incident, Dwayne Owen Wharton's sentence will start at the conclusion of his current term in June next year.

Wharton and a lady friend had hailed the taxi in the city's CBD on the night of October 20 last year, Toowoomba District Court heard.

Trying to source heroin, he had the cab driver stop at two houses until they pulled up outside a third home on Anzac Avenue.

Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court it was then Wharton pulled a knife which he pointed toward the cab driver's neck.

The driver denied having any money and when Wharton grabbed the driver's kit bag a struggle ensued in the front seat during which the cab driver sustained cuts to his hand, the court heard.

Because tendons in his fingers had been cut, the victim had to have surgery and physiotherapy, keeping him from work for three months, Ms Petrie said.

Wharton and his friend had fled the scene but he was found by police a few days later and had been taken back into custody where he remained since.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of armed robbery and wounding.

Ms Petrie said Wharton had nine pages of criminal history which included five offences of violence, nine burglaries and 19 offences of entering premises with intent to commit a crime.

Defence barrister David Jones told the court his client had a long-standing drug problem which started with his smoking marijuana from the age of 13.

However, his client had turned to heroin after finding the body of his murdered mother when he was just 16 and home from boarding school.

His client instructed he had seen a large wad of cash in the taxi driver's shirt pocket which led to the robbery attempt but he had not received any of the money, Mr Jones said.

The incident had been captured on the taxi's CCTV camera and client had not tried to disguise himself in any way, he said.

Judge Craig Chowdhury noted Wharton's "significant" criminal history and sentenced him to five years in jail but, acknowledging his plea of guilty, ordered he be eligible to apply for release on parole as of June 4, 2019.

Topics:  armed robbery taxi driver toowoomba wounding



CQ indigenous health service strives to 'close the gap'

CEO of Bidgerdii Community Health Service Thelap Ahmat.

Program works to bring families together

Wet week: Days of rain expected to hit parts of CQ

Weather outlook for the five days in Central Queensland.

CLOUDS expected to roll in tomorrow and stay all week

PHOTO GALLERY: Rugby teams turn it on for charity

GAME ON: Colts and Frenchville in the thick of the action at the charity rugby day, which raised $2500 for the RACQ Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.

Brothers reign supreme as vital funds are raised for rescue service

Local Partners