A MAN has been sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for blackmail, drugs offences and racist threats.

Tony Hornby, 20, of Ilkeston Walk in Stockton was sentenced to six years and ten months in prison last week for blackmail, drugs offences and racially aggravated threats.

In October last year, Hornby refused to pay a taxi driver, asked to be taken to another address and forced the driver to take him by threatening him with a knife.

A few hours later he accessed a different taxi, racially abused the driver, threatened him with a knife and attempted to rob him.

He also slashed the taxis tyre with the knife.

Speaking of the incidents, Detective Constable Nigel Rusby said: “Both incidents were terrifying for the victims and one of the drivers has stopped working nights because of the distress it has caused him.

“No one should go to work to be threatened with a knife and abused from individuals such as Hornby. The victims were extremely brave in coming forward following the incidents.

“Hornby will now be paying for his violent and unforgivable actions behind bars and I hope the victims can now make steps to moving forward with their lives knowing he will be in jail for some time.”