A Tauranga teenager has admitted his role in the vicious beating and robbery of a city taxi driver.
Jared Whakatoe Dixon, 18, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated robbery, wilful damage of a police cell and breaching community work when he appeared in Tauranga District Court yesterday.
The court was told the aggravated robbery occurred about 11.45pm on January 23 after Dixon and some associates devised a plan to order a taxi to take them to Ohauti Rd and then run off without paying.
Dixon phoned Tauranga Mount Taxis company and ordered a taxi to pick them up at Welcome Bay shops and drop them off on Ohauti Rd. Dixon, the front passenger, asked the victim if he had made plenty of money.
As the driver arrived at the destination, Dixon and his associates demanded money and threatened to kill him.
Dixon opened the glovebox and began searching for money or property to steal. He then lunged across the centre console and elbowed the victim in the face, and began punching him in the face with his fist.
During the assault, Dixon landed at least 12 punches to the victim's face and head, before the taxi driver managed to break free. He tried to run away but was punched in the head by Dixon and his alleged co-offender outside the taxi, and as Dixon was attacking the victim, his associates were allegedly rifling through the taxi.
Dixon then entered the taxi again and began searching for cash and items to steal.
Nearby residents hearing the injured driver scream came to his aid. One of the passengers continued to rummage through the taxi.
Dixon was located by a police dog team.
The victim was treated at Tauranga Hospital after suffering concussion and serious and significant bruising to his head, face, ribs and hands.
Judge Thomas Ingram told Dixon despite his age a custodial sentence was inevitable, and remanded him in custody pending sentencing on on April 11.