A taxi driver who foiled a drunken dangerous driver by snatching keys from the ignition has been commended by a judge.
The cabbie had seen defendant Dean Gallagher, 29, driving a stolen Peugeot Partner van erratically on Preston Road, Clayton le Woods, near Chorley.
The concerned driver followed it onto Buckshaw Hall Lane where it stopped.
He then approached the van and snatched the keys from the ignition.
The van had earlier been stolen from Tootell Street, Chorley.
Recorder Howard Bentham QC, sitting at Preston Crown Court, praised the cabbie for his bravery during Gallagher’s sentencing hearing.
The court heard how in a separate incident, on March 21, Gallagher robbed a lone 15-year-old girl of her mobile phone as she walked down Pilling Lane, Chorley, just before midnight.
He used the phone to call a taxi, then hit her in the stomach and threatened to “kick her head in”.
Layer as he was arrested he ran at a police officer and spat in his face.
The judge sentenced Gallagher, of Batty Street, Manchester, to a total of three years after he pleaded guilty to robbery, assaulting an officer, aggravated vehicle taking, dangerous driving, driving without insurance or a licence, and drink driving.
He was also banned for five years.
DC Andrew Woodward, of South CID, said: “The robbery has had a big effect on the victim and her family.
“His guilty plea avoided her having to go to court.