Two men who pleaded guilty to a series of armed robberies on taxi drivers have been sentenced to jail.

Ilyas Ahmed and Aqil Macaw, who were both aged 19 when they threatened and robbed taxi drivers in Maidstone and Sunshine West in June, 2017, were found guilty in separate hearings last year. They appeared before the County Court earlier this month for separate sentencing hearings.

The court heard that during the first robbery, Ahmed threatened a taxi driver with an axe.

Later, Macaw threatened another driver with a “long knife” and Ahmed placed a pair of scissors against the driver’s neck. They stole the driver’s wallet containing $500 and his mobile phone.

During a robbery in Hoppers Crossing, involving Ahmed and two other unnamed offenders, Ahmed struck the taxi driver in the chest with an axe before stealing his mobile phone and $300.

Afterwards, Ahmed and one of the co-offenders forced the driver to open the boot of his taxi and get inside.

The court heard that Macaw had also robbed taxi drivers in Yarraville and Travancore and had attempted to rob a female taxi driver in Sunshine.

Both men were using methamphetamines on a daily basis at the time of the robberies.

Ahmed was sentenced to six months jail for the Hoppers Crossing armed robbery and received two three-year community correction orders (CCOs), to be served concurrently, for two other armed robberies. The CCOs will begin once Ahmed is released from jail. He has served 602 days in pre-sentence detention.

Judge Julie Condon said that Ahmed’s offending “occurred during a period of significant personal crisis” and he had since shown “genuine remorse”.

Macaw was sentenced to a total of five years and three months prison for various charges of attempted armed robbery and armed robbery.

He must serve at least three years before being eligible for parole.

Judge Condon said Macaw had found his experience of an adult jail “immensely harsh and difficult” while on remand.