Machete gang locked up after attacking taxi drivers in Manchester

Three machete-wielding youths have been jailed after attacking taxi drivers and food delivery drivers in a series of robberies.

Kyle Cheetham, 17, Declan Steele, 15, and Kye Harrison, 14, have all been handed detention orders over the attacks which occured in Manchester between July and September 2018. 

The  Manchester Evening News named the three thugs after a judge lifted reporting restrictions.

Manchester Crown Court heard that the three, who were part of a larger gang, deliberately targeted taxi drivers and food delivery drivers who had responded to telephone requests for service. The three would then wait for the driver and then threaten or assault and rob their victim.

The three were caught due to a combination of forensic and telephone evidence. Kye Harrison was caught after he became  trapped in a vehicle being pursued by police. The gang were responsible for 18 offences, which included a taxi driver being attacked and robbed after being called to Plant Hill medical centre in Blackley on July 4, 2018.

Police had discovered Kye Harrison had made the original call for the taxi, and was involved in another attack on a cabbie in Blackley on July 29, on both occasions a knife was involved. 

A third attack took place on July 30, on  another cabbie in Blackley, again involving Harrison, along with Kyle Cheetham  

The court heard how a male armed with a knife entered the vehicle and ordered the driver to give him everything he had, two other thugs then entered the vehicle, wielding 14 inch knives. 

In yet another attack, with Harrison and Cheetham involved, a taxi driver who had only held a license for just six months was called to a fare in Blackley just before midnight on July 31. 

He was accosted by three attackers, fearing that they had a gun the court heard how he handed over his phone, £80 cash and his car keys.

Further robberies on taxi drivers continued through the night, with two more attacks in Middleton. Police had then discovered that Cheetham made the calls to order the taxis  

A food delivery driver was then attacked on August 30, again in Blackley, which resulted in the driver being struck with a machete.

The gang stole food, cash and the delivery drivers car.

The delivery drivers car was subsequently  traced by police, who discovered fingerprints on the vehicle belonging to Cheetham and Steele in the vehicle.

Further armed robberies on delivery drivers continued in the Blackley area on September 1, 2018, with one driver being stabbed in the side by the thugs.

Police then pursued the attackers who were in the Toyota Yaris which had been stolen in tge August 30 robbery. The vehicle, which had false plates attached to it crashed and three males fled. Harrison, who had injured his ankle in the crash, was arrested in the car. 

Officers then found a second stolen vehicle, which had been seen with the Yaris. The fingerprints for all three defendants were found in the car. Despite being arrested and released under investigation, Harrison continued on his crine spree, pulling a machete on another victim and slashing them on the arm.

The court heard that Harrison had three convictions for six offences including conspiracy to burgle, racially aggravated assault, threatening behaviour, criminal damage, affray and possessing an offensive weapon.

Steele and Cheetham had no previous convictions.

Cheetham's barrister stated that his client had spent six months on remand at Wetherby young offenders' institution, which had been 'extremely difficult and trying and allowed him 'to reflect on his behaviour. It was also pointed out that Cheetham had apologised to his probation workers for his crimes It was revealed that Cheetham had a cannabis habit, and admitted to supplying the drug. 

Kye Harrison's barrister claimed that his client, who was 14 at the time of the robberies, was 'less culpable' than his co-defendants. The court also heard that Harrison had a troubled family background.  Declan Steele's barrister stated that his client had only just turned 15 when he committed the crimes and had never had a knife during any of