Evil killer, 20, who stabbed cab driver to death after bragging to a girl he would 'rob a taxi' is jailed for life – as court hears how terrified victim begged him to spare his life because he had a wife and children

  • Post category:news
  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

  • Oliver Pugh, 20, stabbed a hard-working father to death after bragging to a girl 
  • In Birmingham Crown Court, violent youth was jailed for a minimum of 27 years 

A thug who stabbed a cab driver to death after boasting to a girl he was going to rob a taxi has been jailed for life today.

Oliver Pugh, 20, New Meadow Close, Solihull, stabbed Mohammed Istakhar to death in Braggs Farm Lane in Solihull in the early hours of November 29 last year.

Luca De-Fazio, aged 18, who had been with him on the night was cleared of murder but received a one-month sentence after admitting to possession of a knife.

Mr Istakhar, 44, had picked Pugh up from Birmingham city centre where he had bragged to a girl ‘I’m going to rob a taxi’.

The 44-year-old father was found by two members of the public lying face down in the road in the morning.

Pugh had driven away in the cabbie’s Vauxhall Insignia but was arrested in Worksop, Nottinghamshire a few days later.

Oliver Pugh, 20, (pictured) was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court this morning

Oliver Pugh, 20, (pictured) was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court this morning

Mohammed Istakhar came to the country aged 13 and worked as a factory worker as well as a taxi driver

Mohammed Istakhar came to the country aged 13 and worked as a factory worker as well as a taxi driver

He was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court this morning – where he threatened to punch someone after being jailed. 

Judge Simon Drew KC sentenced him to life with a minimum term of 27 years, minus the 289 days he has spent on remand.

As Pugh left the dock, someone in the public gallery shouted: ‘You’re a murderer you little [expletive].’

Pugh, who was being ushered out by a detention officer, appeared to threaten the male, saying ‘I’ll punch you’.

Recalling the facts of the case the judge told Pugh: ‘It is perfectly clear from what subsequently happened you were intent on causing trouble that evening. You engaged in repeated acts of unprovoked violence.

‘By the time you got in Mr Istakhar’s taxi and directed him to Braggs Farm Lane I have no doubt you intended to rob this vulnerable public servant at knife-point.’

He added: ‘Anyone who stabs someone in the chest with a large knife as you did can have no other intent other than to kill.

‘Furthermore, when he managed to escape from the taxi and from you and run off down the road you hunted him down.

‘You caught up with him and despite the fact he was bleeding down the road you delivered at least one more serious stab wound.

‘When he collapsed and fell you offered no support.

‘Never did you seek any help, instead you took his car and his car keys and headed off away from the scene as fast as you could, in doing so at one point you drove through a hedge and into a field so desperate were you to get away.’

Mr Istakhar’s daughter read a family impact statement to the court, saying: ‘Our lives will never be the same again.

Mohammed Istakhar was stabbed to death in Braggs Farm Lane (pictured) in Solihull in the early hours of November 29 last year

Mohammed Istakhar was stabbed to death in Braggs Farm Lane (pictured) in Solihull in the early hours of November 29 last year

‘We are not living we are existing. Passing time day-by-day, minute-by-minute until we are reunited with the love of our life again.

‘We barely saw him without his uniform. He spent most of his life working, saving and saving.

‘He built his dream home for us. He was so selfless.’

His daughter told the court that her father came to the country aged 13 and worked as a factory worker as well as a taxi driver. 

Finally, Mr Istakhar’s daughter added: ‘Why did he have to pick these two idiots up? Why did it have to be our father? He didn’t deserve this at all.’

Michelle Heeley KC, defending, said Pugh’s true intention on the night was to avoid paying for the taxi fare.

She argued Pugh did not have an intention to kill and acted ‘impulsively, recklessly and was using a knife without thinking’.

Ms Heeley told the court that Pugh has ADHD which caused him to act impulsively.

She added: ‘He is filled with regret. Every night he has to live with and sleep with the consequences of his own actions.’

The barrister said Pugh has started working in prison and has sought education so that when he is released as a ‘middle-aged man’ he can ‘attempt to have some benefit to society’.

Detective Inspector Michelle Thurgood from the Homicide Team, said: ‘This was a horrific attack on a father who was out working that night to provide for his family.

‘Earlier that evening, Pugh had also assaulted other men for no apparent reason. He was clearly intent on causing harm to others that night.

‘Our thoughts remain with Mr Istakhar’s family and I hope this sentence can bring them some closure.’




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