ARMED robbers have been jailed after terrorising taxi drivers and shop assistants with knives.

Career criminal Patrick Burke was also jailed for a motorbike crash which left his passenger paralysed from the waist down.

Burke, 29, of Audley Way, Basildon, was jailed for seven years including five years for robberies and two for driving offences.

Jazz West, 26, was sent to prison for eight years for a combination of armed robberies and burglaries.

Judge Ian Graham, at Basildon Crown Court on Friday, said: “You both have long records of previous offences, Patrick Burke I note you have no previous convictions for robberies or offences involving weapons.

“Jazz West you will get credit for your plea, you do have previous convictions for robberies.

“I note your poor family background which lead to problems with drugs leading to this.”

While being sentenced West launched into a foul mouthed tirade at the prosecution causing the microphones to be removed from the video conference room at Chelmsford prison where they were being sentenced.

The pair admitted robbing taxi drivers in Avon Way on October 2 and Fairlop Gardens, Basildon the following day.

On each occasion they threatened the taxi driver with a knife and demanded money fleeing with hundreds of pounds.

They were arrested on October 7 after a taxi driver recognised a picture and picked them out of an identity parade.

They admitted the offences in November.

West also admitted two further counts of robbery relating to incidents at McColl’s stores in Basildon.

The first took place at the store in Felmores End at around 6.10am on June 29 when two men went in, grabbed a member of staff, and demanded money before making off with cash and cigarettes.

Later that day, two men entered a store in Whitmore Way. A member of staff was threatened with a knife and hundreds of pounds worth of cash and cigarettes were taken.

West also admitted burglaries in Plains Road, Maldon and Brock Hill, Runwell on January 3 and a theft from TK Maxx in Miles Gray Road, Basildon on July 27.

A third man, 27 year-old Brett Bruce, of Malyons, Basildon, had already pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery in relation to the robberies at the McColls shops.

He was sentenced to three years and six months in prison on December 19, 2018.

Burke was also disqualified from driving in connection with a collision where the pillion passenger of the motorbike he was riding was left paralysed.

Burke had overtaken two cars and was about to overtake a Peugeot 206 that had slowed down and was signalling to turn right.

The bike collided with the car’s offside, sending Burke and his 20-year-old pillion passenger across the bonnet.

Both men were taken to the Royal London Hospital with life threatening injuries. Burke suffered a broken pelvis, broken elbow and broken ankle. His passenger has been left paralysed from the waist down.

An investigation was carried out into the collision, which happened in Great Knightleys, Basildon, on August 24 last year.

Burke, who was voluntarily interviewed, had no driving licence or insurance and had cannabis in his blood above the prescribed limit.

He appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court on September 6 last year and admitted charges of causing serious injury by driving while disqualified, careless driving, drug-driving, driving without insurance and driving without a driving licence.

He has been disqualified from driving.

PC Matthew Musson said: “Jazz West and Patrick Burke were comfortable threatening violence towards taxi drivers who were just trying to go about their business.

“These robberies, and the ones at the McColl’s sores, were frightening incidents for those involved. No-one should be made to fear for their safety, let alone at their place of work.

“West in particular is a prolific offender who has little or no respect for other people’s property.

“I hope West and Burke use their sentences to reflect on their actions and the impact their crimes have had.”