Man jailed for leaving 61-year-old taxi driver with life-changing injuries

Man jailed for leaving 61-year-old taxi driver with life-changing injuries

A MAN has this week been jailed for an attack that left a 61-year-old taxi driver with life-changing injuries.

Liam O'Callaghan, 34, of Ruskin Avenue, Colne, Lancashire, was handed a four-year sentence at Preston Crown Court on Monday after previously pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm.

His girlfriend Jamie Birkett, 22, of Stocks Road, Preston, Lancashire, was handed 16 months' imprisonment at Preston Crown Court in September for affray in relation to the assault.

Fare dispute

The victim had gone to collect the pair from O'Callaghan's address in Colne on the evening of Tuesday, February 9, 2021.

O'Callaghan and Birkett said they wanted to go to Burnley so were asked to pay the fare up front, which they refused.

O'Callaghan and Jamie Birkett both received custodial sentences (Image: Lancashire Constabulary)

When the driver advised that he would not drop them off before opening the door to allow them to exit, the pair became aggressive.

They both began pushing the victim and after being shoved by O'Callaghan, the driver fell to the ground, leaving him unable to move his arms or legs.

He has since required months of rehabilitation for spinal injuries suffered in the assault.

Spinal injuries

"I am pleased with today's result which reflects the severity of the assault, resulting in the victim suffering serious and life-changing spinal injuries," said DC Matthew Bourne from Burnley Police.

"He had to endure months of rehab, during a national lockdown and not being able to see family for support.

"What is all the more shocking is that all the victim was doing was asking for a taxi fare up front before setting off, which he was perfectly entitled to do.

"He is working incredibly hard to come back from his injury and I hope that now the court process has concluded, he is able to move forward with his life."