Newham cabbie disfigured over �6 fare

Two thugs who left a minicab driver permanently disfigured in a row over a �6 fare have both been jailed for two years.

Tobi Egunjobi, 19, and Jerome Taylor, 21, attacked 43 year-old Muhammed Khan after he tried to stop them running off without paying.

Two months later both men were involved in a gang brawl which ended in the brutal killing of 20 year-old David Cauchi-Lechmere in Beckton, on July 11, 2009.

Both Egunjobi and Taylor were acquitted of murder but convicted of violent disorder by an Old Bailey jury earlier this year.

They were jailed for 30 months for their part in the “gratuitous violence”.

Both men were convicted of malicious wounding over the attack on Mr Khan after a trial at Inner London Crown Court.

The court heard that Mr Khan, who worked for Newham cab firm Petchey Cars, picked up the two men and a friend from Oxleas, Beckton, at around 6.30pm on April 5, 2009.

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After taking them a mile to nearby Melbourne Road, the third man left saying he would fetch cash to pay the �6 fare and promised Egunjobi and Taylor would wait.

Moments later the two thugs got out and also made off.

Mr Khan decided to follow them but was punched in the face by one of the pair and knocked unconscious.

Doctors at Newham General Hospital inserted five stitches in the three-inch, Y-shaped gash on his right cheek that has left a grotesque facial scar.

He later told police that he had seen either Egunjobi or Taylor wielding a knife but a bystander denied seeing a blade.

Taylor denied having worn a ring that could have caused the damage.

Both men were arrested the following day, with Taylor insisting in a taped interview and throughout his trial that he had acted in ‘self-defence’.

He accused Mr Khan of having lunged for them with a set of keys around his fist.

The judge said: ‘I wholly reject any suggestion of any element of self-defence on either of your parts.

“I am satisfied that both of you were aware that Mr Kham had not been paid and that it was for that reason that you made off.

“As he accepted, it was a mistake for him to follow you to seek the payment to which he was entitled.

“But nobody, not least him, could have expected the injury that you inflicted upon him.

“He was a taxi driver going about his lawful business, and he was attacked by you two, simply seeking payment.

“I am satisfied that some weapon was in fact used to cause the injury and, while I cannot be sure it was a knife, I’m satisfied it was some object, worn or held.”

Taylor, of Oxleas, Beckton, and Egunjobi, of East Road, Stratford, denied malicious wounding.

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