Two cleared of taxi robbery

AN Upwell teenager was one of two men found not guilty of robbery by a jury at Norwich Crown Court.

Christopher Hunt (19) together with his co-defendant Robert McCalmont (20) had both denied robbing taxi driver Lorcan Whyte on January 12.

The court heard Mr Whyte claim he was robbed of 50 by two men after taking them from King's Lynn from Spalding.

He claimed something metallic was held at his neck and the 50 he had been given for the cab ride up-front was taken from him.

McCalmont, of 31 Heigham Green, King's Lynn, in his evidence said he and Hunt, of 11 The Russetts, had been given a lift to Spalding by DJ Chris Valentine, where he planned to meet up with friends in Shooters Bar.

Mr Valentine was going to pick them up and take them back to King's Lynn when he finished work elsewhere in Spalding at 3am.

But McCalmont said no friends turned up in Spalding so he and Hunt decided to get a taxi home and 'do a runner' at the end of the trip as they had no money.

McCalmont said he was slightly drunk and when they reached Salters Road in King's Lynn he got out of the taxi as he needed to go to the toilet.

As he was walking back to the cab, Hunt came up behind him and told him to 'run'.

McCalmont said the taxi drove off at speed. He said he did not know why.

When Nick Methold, prosecuting, asked McCalmont if he had paid the taxi driver the 50 he replied 'no'.

Mr Methold then asked him why the taxi driver drove off at speed. "Was it because he wanted to get away from someone who he thought had a knife?"

McCalmont responded by saying: "I don't know".

Judge Paul Downes asked: "Did you have anything metallic on you that night?"

McCalmont replied: "Only a key ring."

Hunt, giving evidence, said no money was given to the taxi driver and nothing was held to the driver's throat.

After being out for half-an-hour the jury found both men not guilty of robbery and they left the court.