A MAN who threatened a taxi driver with a knife after he dropped him off at home has been jailed for two years, eight months.

Nicholas Mannion ordered the terrified cabbie to drive and pointed the weapon at him two or three times, leading him to believe he would be stabbed or money taken from him.

Prosecutor Paul Lee told Teesside Crown Court that Mannion had got into the taxi outside Stockton’s Swallow Hotel and asked to be taken to an address in Thornaby.

Once the pair arrived Mannion asked if he could go inside to get some money for the fare – leaving his trainers behind when the driver asked for some means of proof that he would return.

Once he returned to the vehicle he brandished the knife and began making threats, forcing the victim to drive about a mile.

He eventually made off, although nothing was taken.

Mannion, 23, of Sycamore Avenue, Thornaby, admitted attempted robbery in the early hours of May 3 this year.

Julian Gaskin, mitigating said Mannion, who has 18 previous convictions, suffered from depression and regularly drank far too much.

He said: “This was an idiotic decision in drink.

“It was an attempt, no injury occurred and nothing was stolen. He has asked me to apologise for his horrendous actions. He does show clear remorse.”

Judge John Walford said Mannion was a persistent offender and described the offence as extremely serious with aggravating features.