Cabbie robbed at knifepoint in Gorgie

Richard Oliver said he was left 'quite shaken' following the incident. Picture: Scott Louden
Richard Oliver said he was left 'quite shaken' following the incident. Picture: Scott Louden
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A TAXI driver fought off a knife-wielding thug by slamming a door on his hand in a late-night attempted robbery.

Richard Oliver, 44, was working night shift with Edinburgh City Private Hire when he was called to what he thought was a routine job off Gorgie Road.

But the fare turned ugly when the customer pulled out a four-inch blade and demanded the driver’s cash box.

The father-of-two had arrived at the Newton Street address at around 4.20am yesterday when a supposed customer asked him to open the boot of his eight-seater to hold a television.

When he returned to the driver’s seat, the suspect brandished a knife and threatened him for cash.

But Mr Oliver defended himself by hitting the crook with his open door until he ran off into Wheatfield Street.

The taxi driver, who lives in Broxburn, said he was left “quite shaken”.

“You hear about these things happening but you just don’t think it will happen to you,” he said. “I want other taxi drivers to take heed.”

It is believed the would-be robber booked the taxi from a phone box, and detectives are now examining CCTV footage in the area.

Mr Oliver, who started his shift at 2am, said: “I got back round to the driver’s seat and the guy produced a knife and asked me for the money.

“I just banged his hand with the door and he ran away.

“It’s a dead-end street, so I had to reverse the car back. I saw him run down Wheatfield Street but I have got a broken foot so I couldn’t chase him.”

He added: “He picked the worst car to rob anyway because I had only done one job. He never got any money.”

The suspect is described as white, aged between 18 and 25 years old, and of medium build.

He had short brown hair and a clean-shaven face, and was wearing a dark blue hooded zipped top, dark trousers and white and black trainers.

Detective Sergeant Robbie Wallace said: “The victim was not injured during this incident, nor did he surrender his money.

“Nevertheless, we are treating this incident seriously and are keen to hear from anyone who remembers seeing any suspicious activity in the Gorgie area on Thursday morning.

“In addition, anyone who recognises the description of the suspect, or who has information relevant to this investigation is also asked to contact police immediately.”

Anyone with information should contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

kaye.nicolson@edinburghnews.com