A MOTHER-of-two threatened a taxi driver with a hammer and terrorised him with her partner accomplice after they turned into the passengers from hell.

Burnley Crown Court heard how convicted robber Debbie Kearns, 32, had grabbed Mohammed Ahmed's money bag and demanded change in a dispute over the fare.

The victim looked in his rear view mirror and saw Daniel Ward, 53, waving a hammer around. Kearns shouted: “Smash his head in. Give me the money or I will smash your head in.”

The hearing was told when police later turned up at Ward's flat, he hurled abuse at them, produced two large carving knives, held them in the air, shouted: “Come on,” and walked towards the officers.

Ward, who has a criminal record going back almost 40 years, ended up being tasered and told officers: “Just watch your Mrs,” after he was arrested.

Kearns, an ex-heroin addict and alcoholic, stole £5 from the victim. She her then boyfriend left the victim so scared and traumatised by his ordeal, he wanted to give up working as a cabbie, but had to carry on to make a living.

Kearns has 23 offences on her record, including robbery, theft and burglary and has been to prison several times.

The defendant, of Burnley Road, Padiham, had admitted theft and affray, last December 27. She was locked up for 16 months. Ward, of Fir Street, Nelson, had pleaded guilty to two affray charges and possessing an offensive weapon.

He has 60 offences on his record, going back to 1977, including a firearm conviction, burglary and threats and has also served time. He was sent down for two years.

Passing sentence, Judge Simon Newell said: “It's not surprising that that sort of behaviour has terrified him from working in the future, but he is a young man with a wife and children and he has to support them so he continues to work.”