A female taxi driver who survived a knifepoint robbery by pleading “don’t stab me – I’m a mother and grandmother” has defied her attacker – by returning to work.
Courageous Virginia Halstead, 55, pleaded for her life as she was held up for less than £50 while working a night shift.
Despite suffering from post traumatic stress disorder she has refused to let the incident ruin her life and got back behind the wheel.
She has spoken out about the ordeal after one of her two attackers, Liam Seeley, 19, was jailed for four years for robbery at Sheffield Crown Court.
Describing the incident in Sheffield on June 16, she said: “I picked up a job and two men got in, one in the front seat and one behind.
“Nothing seemed amiss at this point and they kept asking me to drive down roads on the estate which I thought nothing of at the time.
“I pulled up on another road and lad in the passenger seat pulled his hood over his face, and demanded: ‘give me the notes’.
“I reached straight for my money bag and when I was giving the money to him I could feel I had a knife pressed against my ribs.
“Thoughts of my three young grandchildren passed through my mind and I was terrified for my life. I was in complete shock.
“I said to him ‘please don’t stab me I’m a mother and a grandmother, please just take the money’.
“I can’t believe they have thrown their lives away for less than £50.”
The men ran off with her keys and Virginia tried to use her phone but her hands were shaking so much it was jumping in her hands.
Instead she pressed her hands onto the horn until a couple came out in their nightwear to see to her. They found her car keys abandoned in the street.
The man who wielded the knife has never been found and Seeley is the only person to face justice over the attack.
Sentencing judge Peter Kelson described his actions as “disgraceful”.
Virginia is just one of five women working as taxi drivers in Sheffield but was forced to leave her job at City Taxis after suffering panic attacks for two months.
She now works for a firm where passengers pay for their journeys on an app beforehand and no money changes hands.
The mother-of-two, from Sheffield, said: “I love my job and I feel I am putting something into the community by doing it.
“But sadly we also put ourselves in a vulnerable position – this should not be violated.”