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JAILED: Man stabbed taxi driver, steals cab and injures five others during Leeds rampage

Updated: Jan 16

Image credit: West Yorkshire Police

A man who stabbed and seriously injured a taxi driver before stealing his car and going on the rampage in Leeds city centre has been jailed today. 

Pablo Hernandez left a total of six victims in his wake as he drove the taxi dangerously through the city centre, crashing into cars and attacking members of the public at random.

Hernandez, aged 22, had booked a taxi to pick him up from Hillcrest View, Harehills, at about 9.30pm on Friday, 27 January last year. 

He got into the back of the car and, without warning, produced a knife and stabbed the driver in the chest and shoulder. 

The victim, a 41-year-old man, managed to escape from the vehicle and ran to a nearby shop for help. 

Hernandez sped off in the Toyota Auris heading into the city centre where he collided with a number of vehicles in queuing traffic in Aire Street, near to the train station. 

He mounted the pavement and struck a pedestrian, a 49-year-old man, who was carried about 20 metres on the bonnet before being thrown off. The car then drove forward crushing his right foot. Despite this, the victim received only minor injuries. 

He abandoned the vehicle and then attempted to rob another taxi, trying to pull the 54-year-old driver out and punching him in the face before running off. 

He ran into a nearby restaurant and grabbed two bottles of beer. A friend of the man knocked down by the stolen taxi chased after Hernandez and tried to block his route, but the 53-year-old was hit round the head with a bottle, breaking his glasses and causing bruising and swelling. 

Hernandez began jumping on cars and running over their roofs before British Transport Police officers, who had been nearby, managed to detain him and bring the incident to a conclusion. 

Detectives from Leeds District CID worked round the clock to carry out a timely investigation of all aspects of the incident, supported by accounts from victims, Leedswatch CCTV and phone footage from witnesses. 

Hernandez was charged with 14 offences and was remanded in custody when he appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court after the weekend. 

When his case was at Leeds Crown Court in July, he pleaded guilty to Section 18 wounding with intent, two counts of Section 47 assault, theft of a vehicle, possession of a bladed article, dangerous driving, attempted robbery and two counts of criminal damage. 

Today, he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment. 

Detective Inspector John Graham, of Leeds District CID, said: “Hernandez was responsible for a shocking catalogue of offences that occurred over a very short period of time and affected a significant number of people. 

“The taxi driver he stabbed was very seriously injured and it could have easily had more tragic consequences. It was also only through good fortune that the other victims he attacked were not more seriously injured. 

“His actions in the city centre on a busy Friday night were witnessed by several people who were understandably in fear at what they saw. 

“British Transport Police colleagues were in the immediate vicinity and were able to detain Hernandez and bring the incident to a safe conclusion before any further harm could be caused. 

“A timely and comprehensive investigation by CID officers secured all the necessary evidence to have him immediately charged, and the strength of that evidence has resulted in his guilty pleas. 

“We hope the victims will be able to take some comfort from knowing that he has now had to answer for his actions with a significant term of imprisonment.” 


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