A TAXI driver in Trafford was pinned to his seat and had a blade held to his head before robbers made off with £300, a court has heard.

The victim was nicked by the blade as he struggled to escape John Pluples and David Holley, who had called the taxi in the early hours of the morning on December 5, 2019.

Despite the attack, Bolton Crown Court last week heard how the taxi driver went straight back to work in the days afterwards.

And barristers for Pluples and Holley suggested to Recorder Ciaran Rankin that in spite of their clients' several previous convictions, the robbery warranted a reduced sentence.

In mitigation for Pluples, of Humphrey Road in Old Trafford, Mark Friend said: "He does have previous convictions for violence, but these are in excess of a decade old. His other convictions can be described as low-level anti-social and criminal behaviour."

Mr Friend also pointed to 35-year-old's 'inconceivable' childhood, and the 'instability' in his life at the time of the attack.

He added: "He recognises the distress that must've been caused. This is a defendant in whom the court might have hope."

In mitigation for Holley, of Beech Hill Lane in Wigan, Gerald Baxter called attention to the 37-year-old's charity work, as well as his relationship with his mother and his son.

Mr Baxter said: "It's apparent from the references there is another side to him. A much better side. There are a lot of things for which he can be commended. The references are very impressive references."

He also said Holley's conduct in prison prior to sentence was commendable.

He added: "It's his own stupid fault he's in this position, but it's having an impact on his family. He has been making attempts to improve."

Recorder Rankin acknowledged the points in mitigation, but said the seriousness of the attack made an extended sentence the only option.

He said: "A taxi driver is vulnerable to being picked upon in this manner and the sentence needs to reflect this."

For the robbery, Pluples and Holley were each sentenced to six years in prison. Appearing via a video link from HMP Forest Bank, their faces fell as the sentence was revealed.

Pluples was given another six months in prison for a separate instance of possession of a knife six months before the robbery.