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Joshua Prett jailed for robbing taxi drivers in Folkestone

A gang used a woman to lure unsuspecting taxi drivers to areas of Folkestone where they were attacked and robbed at knifepoint.

The female – who has never been charged – rang the taxi company to book a cab as her male accomplices lay in wait.

After the first robbery, one of the gang cynically texted the woman: "Got home safely please order another one."

Joshua Prett. Picture: Kent Police
Joshua Prett. Picture: Kent Police

Judge Rupert Lowe told one of the gang members Joshua Prett: “It was a cold, calculated plan to terrify some other public servant and rob him as well.

He ruled that Prett, 27, of Snowdrop Close, Folkestone, posed a serious danger to the public and gave him a 15 year extended jail sentence.

Prosecutor Tom Dunn told Canterbury Crown Court how on April 11, a taxi driver was directed to an address in Peto Close to collect a fare after a call from a woman.

“He arrived and waited, looking at his phone. As he was doing that the driver’s door was opened by a man who had his face covered.

"But not sufficiently covered to prevent (him) from recognising Prett.

“Prett had a knife and demanded money as another man opened the passenger door.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

"He was armed with a Samurai sword which he pressed hard against (the victim’s) ribs, which was very frightening.”

The robbers then took the cabby’s takings of £190 and his iPhone and a few hours later the gang tried the same scam after ordering another taxi.

This time taxi driver, Anthony Hall was directed to a cul-de-sac near Eversley Way in Folkestone when two men got into his vehicle.

One of the robbers, armed with a knife told him: “We are going to take your money” as his accomplice stole the driver’s mobile phone.

The prosecutor said the courageous cabby resisted the attack telling the robbers that he had a family to feed and pushed one of them away, grabbed the arm holding the knife as he raised the alarm.

The two robbers fled but police tracked Prett to a house in Clifton Road where they found two Samurai swords.

"He was armed with a Samurai sword which he pressed hard against Mr Partovi's ribs" - Prosecutor Tom Dunn

Two weeks earlier Prett with three other men had attack a man and his brother – again armed with a knife stealing a car key and other property.

Father-of-one Prett claimed he had worked as a £500 a week beach patrolman for Coastal Defence in Folkestone.

Paul Hogben, defending, said Prett began taking drugs when he was 12, said the coastal defence contract ended and he was unemployed and he began using crack cocaine again.

“He said to me: 'I need counselling. I need help', referring to the way he is failing to cope.

Prett pleaded guilty aggravated burglary, two charges of having offensive weapons, attempted theft, and two robberies.

He was given a 12-year immediate jail sentence and the judge added an extra three years which he will have to serve when he is finally released, probably in 2026.


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