A DESPERATE drug addict who robbed a Bradford taxi driver at knifepoint has been jailed for three and a half years.

Sohail Ali demanded: “Give me £20 and I’ll give you £10 back,” because he wanted just enough cash to pay for his next fix, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Ali, 24, of New Fields Walk, off Otley Road, Barkerend, Bradford, threatened Tanveer Mohammed with a kitchen knife after taking his taxi from Norfolk Gardens, near City Hall, in the city centre to Barkerend at 9am on January 8.

Ali is heard on the vehicle’s recording system saying: “I am not going to hurt you,” after producing the six-inch bladed weapon from his sleeve.

Mr Mohammed was able to beckon another taxi driver over and Ali fled when he approached, prosecutor Alisha Kaye told the court.

Ali, who pleaded guilty to robbery, was sentenced on a video link to Leeds Prison on Monday.

In October, 2013, he was locked up for four years for conspiracy to supply class A drugs.

He and two co-accused were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court for peddling heroin and cocaine in the Barkerend area.

When the police swooped, Ali discarded 20 wraps of heroin and nine wraps of cocaine.

He was also found to be in possession of a further 20 wraps of heroin and £320 in cash.

His barrister, Robin Frieze, said Ali had at first done well after his release from prison.

He obtained work and lived a responsible life, free from drugs and crime, the court heard yesterday.

But he had relapsed into drug misuse and was desperate for £10 to buy a fix.

“He limited his demand for money, showing some concern for Mr Mohammed,” Mr Frieze told the court.

“He is desperately ashamed and sorry.

"He was bound up in his own world of dependency,” Mr Frieze added.

Ali had insight into how badly shaken up Mr Mohammed would be after being robbed at knifepoint.

He was now drug free on prison remand and worked as a mentor for other inmates, the court was told.

“He is deeply motivated not to fall back into drug use again,” Mr Frieze said.

Judge Colin Burn said the robbery had a “shocking and terrifying” effect on Mr Mohammed.

He was robbed in his own taxi and was now thinking about finding other employment because the crime had such a serious effect on him.