A MAN who used to serve in the Army has been jailed for three years and five months for punching a man and stealing his car and taking a phone from a taxi driver.

Reece Campbell, 28, confronted a man who was sitting in his car, punched him, grabbed his car keys from his hands and drove off at speed near the Mill pub in Westgate, Baildon.

After he was punched, the man, who owned the stolen red Ford Fiesta, managed to get out of his car before Campbell drove off in it.

Campbell was spotted by police officers driving the Fiesta on Killinghall Road, Bradford, and a ‘stinger’ was used by officers to stop the car on Sticker Lane, Bradford.

Campbell, who was in the car on his own, was arrested and provided a sample of breath for officers, which was more than twice over the drink drive limit. It was discovered at this stage that Campbell was disqualified from driving. He was also driving with no insurance.

When he was detained in a police cell, Campbell threw hot food at a wall and the floor which required the cell to be deep cleaned.

In a statement read out in court, the victim said he felt angry and upset that someone had taken his car.

Campbell, whose address was given as HM Prison Leeds but has previously lived on Huddersfield Road, Bradford, was interviewed by police and made no comment on the incident.

The robbery took place at around 11.05pm on October 5, 2019 with the car stopped by police at 1am the next day, Harriet Lavin, prosecuting, told Bradford Crown Court yesterday.

The second charge, a theft, saw Campbell being picked up by a taxi driver from a pub after drinking and scuffling with another person in a pub.

When he got in the taxi, Campbell told the cabbie: ‘I’m going to fight you. I’m going to break you in pieces’.

Campbell also grabbed the taxi’s steering wheel during the journey, forcing the car to then go into the side of the road.

Campbell ran away with the taxi driver’s PDA phone system worth £100. This incident took place on December 13, 2019.

Jane Brady, mitigating, told the court Campbell turned to alcohol after leaving the Army and splitting up with a former partner.

She said: “He puts his appalling behaviour down to the devils of alcohol and has put that behind him.

“He says he wants a life away from alcohol. He does not recall his actions on these two occasions.

“He is taking matters seriously on his release. “

He has also gained a number of qualifications and jobs while in prison so far.

He also has an offer of employment secured for when he is released.

Campbell was jailed for 32 months for robbery and nine months for theft, with both sentences to run consecutively.

Sentencing Campbell, Judge Jonathan Rose said it was very fortunate no-one who seriously injured or killed while Campbell was behind the wheel of the Fiesta.

Judge Rose said: “You joined the Army and rose through the ranks through your own hard work and you served your country in the most difficult circumstances.

“You have also suffered some difficulties since leaving the Army. As a consequence, you have unfortunately taken to drink.

“The victim of the robbery was in his car, late at night innocently, when you used violence towards him for no reason whatsoever. He was punched and he was terrified. You took the car and drove it.

“You have not sat idly by while in prison. You have studied and worked and you may be what would be called a model prisoner.

“I have an element of sympathy for you and admiration for what you did during your service.”

Judge Rose added the taxi driver was terrified in the second attack while carrying out his duties.