A taxi driver in Cornwall stalked and repeatedly threatened to kill another cab driver in acts of revenge after a previous altercation between the two saw his rival spared a custodial sentence for ferociously beating him following a dispute over a customer.
Cabbie Ian McGuffie, 53, began to stalk and threaten his fellow driver, Glen Ellis, after the sentence was handed down to Mr Ellis.
McGuffie, of Saltash, appeared at Truro Crown Court after he previously pleaded guilty to two "making threats to kill" charges and stalking.
The court heard how McGuffie was attacked by Mr Ellis in June 2017 after a dispute over a customer got out of control.
As reported in the Cornwall Live, Prosecuting barrister Nigel Wraith, said: “Mr McGuffie was extremely dissatisfied with the sentence and went through the complaints system but didn’t get the retrial he wanted.
“As a result of his dissatisfaction the defendant sent a number of menacing messages.”
Mr Ellis had been given a community order coupled with a number of conditions - a sentence that Mr McGuffie considered insufficient.
The court heard that on a number of occasionsb etween June 2018 and March 2019 McGuffie sent threatening messages to his rival.
As reported, some of those aggressive and terrifying messages said things such as; ‘I’m coming for you, you’re going to get the biggest surprise of your life’, ‘I can’t say when but you’re going to have the living daylights beaten out of you’ and ‘if they don’t take you back to court I’m going to kill you, you’re going to get what you deserve’.
McGuffie was reported to the police, who issued him with a warning. But the threats continued.
In a WhatsApp message sent to Mr Ellis in January, McGuffie told him that he was going to burn him to death in his taxi.
A video of him driving past his address was also sent.
The court heard how the threats left Mr Ellis unable to work and the fear exacerbated his wife's health problems.
Defending McGuffie, Heather Hope said: “Mr McGuffie understood Mr Ellis was going to prison for a long time. There were multiple blows and a kick while he lay on the floor.
“He ended up being almost secondary to the proceedings and wasn’t told of when Mr Ellis was due to appear in court.
“Mr Ellis was prosecuted for ABH, got community service and kept his job as a taxi driver. Mr McGuffie lost his job as he was medically unfit to continue. He lost everything and felt anger and frustration that he wasn’t being listened to.
“He recognises his involvement with Mr Ellis is now over and knows that things have to stop.”
Sentencing McGuffie, Judge Simon Carr described the background of the case as “tragic”.
Judge Carr said: “In June 2017 you were the victim of a serious assault. I’ve seen the footage and understand it was a frightening and damaging event.
“The system at that stage worked, Mr Ellis was arrested, charged and appeared in front of a court. The magistrates passed a sentence they were allowed to pass. I understand your grievance that the sentence was non-custodial and that you felt ignored.
“What we don’t have is vigilante justice and if we did the legal system would collapse. Your reaction was to deem everyone was conspiring against you.
“When the legal appeal routes failed you sent a number of threatening and frightening messages. You were warned off by police but in no way did it deter you.
“This went on for months and you also sent footage of you driving past Mr Ellis’ address. He had a disabled wife and I doubt that crossed your mind for one minute.”
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