Taxi driver kidnapper jailed for 10 years — (The Grantham Journal)

SSRI Ed note: Man prescribed antidepressants drinks, assaults taxi driver, has no memory of it but turns himself in, charged.

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The Grantham Journal

Last Updated: 30 November 2007 1:38 PM

By Bob Hart

Friday, 1.45pm – A kidnapper who robbed a 60-year-old female taxi driver during a terrifying ordeal was today jailed for 10 years.

Arvis Dikis repeatedly smashed a bottle on Dorothy Gunnett’s head before taking her keys and driving her into the Leicestershire countryside where he robbed her of her takings.

Dikis later abandoned her along with her taxi in the Wollaton area of Nottingham.

His victim, who worked part-time as a cabbie helping her son, was left badly injured and now walks with a stick, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

She has since suffered problems with her eyesight and hearing as a result of the attack in October and is now unable to drive.

Dikis, 27, a Latvian national, of Grantley Street, Grantham, admitted charges of robbery, kidnap and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm on 13 October.

Judge Michael Heath told him “It is quite plain that this was a terrifying incident for Mrs Gunnett and it continues to have an effect on her.

“There has to be a severe sentence to punish you for what you did.

“Taxi drivers have to be protected. There are all too many attacks on taxi drivers. They are in a vulnerable position and the court will do what it can to protect them.”

David Lee, prosecuting, said Dikis hired Mrs Gunnett’s cab from the Market Place rank in the early hours of the morning after ignoring the two taxis in front of her.

After agreeing a fare he asked to be taken to Melton Mowbray.
When they arrived Mrs Gunnett asked for the £39 fare but Dikis dropped his wallet and when she got out of the cab to help him she was attacked.

Mr Lee said “He forced her on to the back seat of the cab and proceeded to rain blows on to her head with a bottle.”

Witnesses heard the sound of the bottle hitting Mrs Gunnett and called police but Dikis drove off towards Nottingham with his victim still on the back seat.

“During the journey he pulled on to a country track. She was terrified. She thought that was it for her,” Mr Lee said.

Dikis snatched one of her mobile phones and demanded cash and was told the money was in the glove compartment.

He then continued driving into Nottingham leaving the cab on an estate in the Wollaton area. Mrs Gunnett managed to get out and raised the alarm by banging on nearby doors.

She was taken to the Queens Medical Centre where she needed six stitches to her head and was treated for cuts and bruises.

Five days after the attack Dikis walked into Grantham Police Station and said he had read about the incident in a newspaper and believed he might be responsible.

Michael Rudd, defending, said that Dikis has no memory of what happened.

At the time he had lost his job, had been arguing with his partner and was on anti-depressants.

“He went out and drank excessively and behaved in a manner which is out of character,” said Mr Rudd.