A PAIR OF teenage thugs from Bury – who attacked and robbed cab drivers with meat cleavers and machetes – have been sent to prison after police found one of them posing with knives on social media.
Bolton Crown Court heard that Anthony Graham (19) and Ryan Costello (18) carried out a number of attacks on taxi drivers in Bury earlier this year.
The first robbery took place on New Year’s Day after the pair got into a taxi in Coronation Road, Bury and asked to go to Bealey Avenue, a couple of miles away.
Costello held a meat cleaver to the taxi driver’s throat and demanded he hand over his takings and mobile phone.
The cabbie fled the vehicle but was chased down the street by a knife-wielding Graham who repeated the demand for money and possessions.
The taxi driver escaped after he alerted a passer-by and Costello and Graham fled the scene empty-handed.
The second attack took place at 4:45am on New Year’s Day after the pair booked a taxi from the same company and gave the Dickie Bird estate in Bury as their destination.
On arrival, Costello and Graham pulled the cab driver from his vehicle. Costello then hit the taxi driver with a meat cleaver, leaving the man with badly cut hands as he tried to defend himself.
Graham punched the cabbie in the head repeatedly while Costello slashed the cabbie’s leg – which would later need hospital treatment and surgery.
The teenagers fled the scene of the brutal attack with £350 in cash.
The mini crime spree continued at 2:45am on January 2 when Costello and Graham booked a taxi to take from Coronation Road to the Dickie Bird estate.
Graham bragged to the driver that he was a career criminal, then told him to stop the car so he could go through his pockets.
A second taxi pulled up and Graham made threats to both drivers with a large knife while Costello brandished a meat cleaver.
The first cab driver jumped into his cab and then reversed his vehicle at high speed as Costello slashed the car as he fled.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) launched an investigation and searched Graham’s flat, where they found a dismantled Blackberry phone that had been used to call the taxi companies.
Detectives also found a meat cleaver and a hunting knife hidden in a toilet cistern, as well as selfies of Graham posing with the long bladed weapon.
Both men were found guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery and assault. Graham was jailed for seven years and two months. Costello was jailed for six years and nine months.
Detective constable Dave Looby of GMP Bury said: “These two men committed a series of shocking robberies in quick succession on taxi drivers who were left terrified while simply trying to make an honest living.
“Cab drivers should be able to go out to work without fear of being attacked and while they have recovered from the physical wounds, the mental scars may never heal. I hope this sends a message that if you are intent on committing crime on our streets, we will relentlessly pursue you.”