A “SPREE of loutish offending” saw a drug dealer set off a fire extinguisher in the face of a disabled woman before robbing a taxi driver, Hereford Crown Court heard.
William Harmon, 27, of Charlton Avenue, Hereford, was jailed for 34 months after his day of drink and drug fuelled offending in February led police to discover his street-level drug dealing business.
Recorder Sam Mainds said: “This case is serious, and really rather nasty.
“You rewarded the taxi driver for driving you around in his vehicle by robbing him.”
After spending the day in a Leominster bedsit drinking and taking drugs with four friends, Harmon led the group into town, snatching a fire extinguisher from the hallway as he left, Christopher Lester, prosecuting, told the court.
“He was ‘off his head’ on substances,” said Ben Williams, defending.
Walking down the street, Harmon decided to turn his newly-stolen fire extinguisher on a local landlady, who, using a cane to stand due to her multiple sclerosis, was blasted in the face for several seconds.
She was taken inside the pub by a customer to calm her nerves, while the group stood laughing, Mr Lester told the court.
They then called a taxi from Leominster Train Station, but on reaching Hereford one of the girls began to feign illness, retching in the rear of the cab as though she was about to vomit.
When the driver stopped so she could get some air, all five got out of the taxi, and while the other four – described as ‘hangers-on’ – made their escape, Harmon “walked leisurely away”, said Mr Lester.
When challenged by the taxi driver over the fare, Harmon turned on him, stamping on a radio attachment that had fallen out of the driver’s ear before demanding a wallet he spotted inside the cab.
When police, who identified Harmon using CCTV, raided his house they found a small amount of cannabis, with a street value of around £3.
Following an identity parade officers returned to his property for a second time, this time discovering 28 grams of cannabis, worth around £280, scales and assorted paraphernalia and four grams of amphetamines.
They also discovered two mobile phones showing text messages that indicated the intent to supply both cannabis and cocaine.
Mr Williams told the court that Harmon, who has a child and is expecting his second, deeply regrets his actions and will “knuckle down” while in prison to free himself of the drug addictions that have dogged him.
Having pleaded guilty to all counts, Recorder Mainds sentenced Harmon to 12 months for robbery, three months for assault, one month for theft, as well as nine months each for intent to supply cannabis and cocaine.